Nicolas Sarkozy urges France and Turkey for mutual respect of views
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 23 /Trend A.Badalova/
French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged the mutual respect of views between France and Turkey amid a row over France's criminalization of the denial of the so called "Armenian genocide," NOW Lebanon reports referring to AFP agency.
"I respect the views of our Turkish friends - it's a great country, a great civilization - and they must respect ours," Sarkozy said in Prague where he is attending the funeral of late Czech president and revolution icon Vaclav Havel.
"France is not giving lessons to anyone but does not want them either," Sarkozy said.
Earlier Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that French President Nicolas Sarkozy is against the Turks and Muslims.
He also added that Sarkozy is trying to promote his election campaign, by provoking a conflict between the Christians and Muslims.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said France has to stop its mediation activity in the OSCE Minsk Group following the adoption of a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian Genocide".
"Under all circumstances, we must remain calm," Sarkozy said, adding: "France does not ask for permission, France has its convictions, human rights, and respect for memory."
On Thursday, the French parliament adopted a bill criminalizing denial of the so-called "Armenian Genocide".
Some 45 out of 577 French MPs participated in the voting, 38 of which voted for, while 7 voted against the adoption of the bill.
The bill envisages about one year imprisonment and a fine worth 45,000 euros for denial of the so-called "Armenian genocide".
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.
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.