Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 25 / Trend, M. Aliyev /
We urge France to take more constructive and rational position, Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Political Analysis and Information Provision Department head Elnur Aslanov told journalists on Wednesday. He was commenting on the adoption of a law criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" by the French Senate.
"Azerbaijan condemns France's move. It contradicts its constitution and endangers the freedom of expression and opinion. From this point of view, it deals a blow to the spirit of democracy," Aslanov said.
He said the Azerbaijani government condemns it.
"Our advice to the French Senate is that if they seek the truth, let them include the Khojaly genocide committed 20 years ago in the agenda, instead of the events that did not happen 100 years ago, which are being talked about, but have not been proved yet," Aslanov said.
After an eight-hour debate, the French Senate adopted the bill. Some 127 senators voted in favour, while 86 senators voted against on Jan. 23.
The lower house of the French parliament adopted a bill criminalising the denial of the so-called "genocide" on Dec.22. Some 45 out of 577 French MPs voted with 38 voting for and seven against the adoption of the bill.
The bill demands a year's imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euro for denying the so-called "genocide." In response to the decision, Turkey announced that it has frozen all diplomatic relations with France.
MPs from the French president's Union for Popular Movement (UMP) party, which has the parliamentary majority, proposed the bill aimed at criminalizing the denial of the so-called "genocide" to the legislative committee of the National Assembly in early December.
Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that the predecessor of the Turkey - Ottoman Empire had committed the 1915 genocide against the Armenians living in Anadolu, and achieved recognition of the "Armenian Genocide" by the parliaments of several countries.