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Pope departs from his speech and once again denounces the Armenian Genocide

2016-06-24

In his address with leading political and religious authorities from Armenia, Pope Francis spoke up and said the word that everyone was waiting to hear.

POPE FRANCIS
"This tragedy, this genocide ...”

Currently, only 29 countries officially consider the mass killing of around one million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in April 1915 a genocide.

For Turkey, these facts were "regrettably excessive” crimes committed during the war between the Ottoman forces of order and Armenian militias allied with Russia in the First World War.

The last time Pope Francis spoke of the Armenian Genocide was a year ago at a ceremony in St. Peter's for the 100 years of the tragedy. Turkey strongly criticized the Pope and demanded explanations from the Ambassador of the Pope in Ankara.

During his visit to Armenia, the Pope lamented that during that tragedy, the major world powers did nothing.

POPE FRANCIS
"... The great world powers looked the other way."

The Pope spoke about the present, although he did not explicitly refer to the tensions with Azerbaijan, that maintains a "ceasefire” through the territories of Nagorno-Karabakh.

POPE FRANCIS 
"May all join in striving to ensure that whenever conflicts emerge between nations, dialogue, the enduring and authentic quest of peace, cooperation between states and the constant commitment of international organizations will always prevail, with the aim of creating a climate of trust favorable for the achievement of lasting agreements.”

In his speech, the President of Armenia said that his country also prefers "peaceful negotiations” to shootings.

The meeting at the presidential palace included the exchange of gifts. The Pope received a sculpture of St. Gregory of Narek and the president received a commemorative medallion of the Pope's trip to Armenia.


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