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Turkey Genocide conflict

Reinfeldt, Bildt Criticized for Not Adopting Genocide Resolution as Law

Published måndag 15 mars 2010 kl 18.57
Foreign Minister Carl Bildt

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has spent Monday fending off criticism for his statements that the government won't adopt the resolution on Turkish genocide as part of its foreign policy.

Social Democrat Sven-Erik Österberg has now reported Reinfeldt's comments to the Committee on the Constitution to force the sitting government to adopt the parliament's new line on the alleged Turkish genocide in 1915, when over a million Armenians and other ethnic groups were killed.

Reinfeldt told TT on Monday night that he's open to the prospect of the Committee reviewing his statements.

"I have been very clear in that I regret the decision in the sense that it's bad timing given that a process of reconciliation is in the works. But we will naturally analyze the decision that the parliament has made," he said.

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has also been very critical of the parliament's Thursday decision, and has mirrored Reinfeldt's statements that the constitution doesn't force the government to adopt a parliamentary measure.

Criticism of his actions has also come from the public sector. Hasan Dölek, chairman of the Turkish National Organization in Sweden, slammed Bildt for not personally trying to prevent parliament from voting "aye" on the genocide classification.

"He has expressed regret about the decision to the Turkish prime minister but he didn't do anything himself," Dölek told news agency TT. "Carl Bildt wasn't even there in the parliament."

But Carl Bildt dismissed the criticism, telling TT that he had worked for days to convince people to vote against the measure by pursuing individual talks with parliamentarians.

"It led to the fact that the alliance parties came out in greater force this time than last year" when it came to voting the proposition down, Bildt maintains.

Carl Bildt's surge of support was not enough to stymie the decision, however, and whether Turkey will forgive the Swedish parliament the vote and send back its ambassador remains to be seen.

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