French president refuses to answer Abdullah Gul’s calls
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 21 / Trend, A. Taghiyeva /
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has refused to talk with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul on the phone when he tried to personally contact him to voice his position on a bill regarding criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide", CNN Turk TV channel reported.
The Élysée Palace was informed on Monday morning that Gul wants to personally speak to Sarkozy, but the request was not accepted.
"We have not received a response from Sarkozy. He lacked the courage to speak to President Gul on this issue," a source in the Turkish Presidential Administration said.
After Gul's request was rejected, a statement was posted on the Turkish president's website to immediately block the adoption of the bill.
Turkey hopes that France will not sacrifice long-term friendship between Ankara and Paris for the sake of petty political settlements, President Gul said earlier.
President Gul also urged France to close issue regarding adoption of legislation criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
Earlier, the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkish-French relations should not depend on third party's demands, and if the French Senate approves the bill Turkey will respond with all diplomatic means.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threatened to sever diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries if the bill is adopted.
MPs from the French President's "Union for Popular Movement" (UMP) party which has the parliamentary majority, proposed a bill which aims at criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide" to the legislative committee of the National Assembly in early December.
The bill which was signed by 40 members of the UMP party and the New Centre party, provides up to one year's imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros for those who deny the so-called 'Armenian genocide'.
Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that the predecessor of 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 some countries.