YEREVAN — The Armenian Parliament voted today to designate August 3 as the official commemoration day for the victims of Yezidi Genocide.

The bill submitted by ethnic Yezidi MP Rustam Bakoyan from the Ruling Civil Contract Party passed the first reading with 88 votes in favor, and is expected to pass the second reading to be held within 24 hours. Armenia will thus become the first country after Iraq to enshrine this in a law.

“Genocide is a crime against humanity, and it is the biggest crime. This is a direct result and a direct consequence of incorrect and improper condemnation of the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The destinies of Armenians and Yezidis are quite similar, and our destinies have always crossed paths. We have often found ourselves in the same situations in different stages of history,” Bakoyan said as he presented the bill.

“The Republic of Armenia, adhering to the policy and priority it adopted in the process of prevention and condemnation of genocides, in 2014 condemned the genocide of Yezidis in Iraq from the high podium of the United Nations. In 2015, the Yezidi genocide in Iraq was condemned by the Armenian National Assembly factions, and in 2018 by the National Assembly,” the MP said.

“The prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity is one of the priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy,” Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan said, adding that Armenia actively supports the measures aimed at the prevention and condemnation of the mentioned crimes, the processes of further development of tools and mechanisms for the prevention of genocides and other mass crimes, both on bilateral and multilateral cooperation platforms..

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