ZARAGOZA — The Parliament of Aragon, Spain, adopted Wednesday, December 2, a declaration recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide.

Introduced by MP Gregorio Briz Sánchez, the document pays homage to the over 1.5 million Armenian victims killed by the Ottoman Empire and calls on all Turkish institutions, including the government, to acknowledge the historical fact.

In addition, the text pays tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of solidarity and European justice. It underlines that the European Union should make genocide prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity a top priority.

The resolution calls also on the government of Turkey to use the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide centenary as an opportunity to recognize it, open its archives and choose the path of reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian people. It also highlights that a growing number of Turkish intellectuals, politicians and members of civil society have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and encourages Turkish institutions to do the same.

“It is very encouraging to see that this year, not only the European, but also member states and regional parliaments have adopted resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, director of European Friends of Armenia said. “I believe that the move sends a strong message to Turkey, suggesting Europe is waiting for them to recognize their history.”

The text further calls on Spain to ensure Turkey keeps its promise to protect and preserve the Armenian cultural heritage on its territory and have a more active role in facilitating reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey.

Aragon is an autonomous community in the north-east of Spain, bordering with France. It has a population of 1.2 million people and with a size of 47,719 km2 (slightly bigger than Estonia). It is the fifth region in Spain that has recognized the Armenian Genocide, after the Basque Country, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Navarre.

The Armenian Genocide has been officially recognized by the city councils of the Spanish towns of Mislata, Burjassot, Betera, San Sebastian, Xirivella, Pinto, Santa Margarita, Manises, Silla, Aldaia and Alzira.

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