Anti-French demonstration in Turkey

Concern Over French Legislation on Genocide of Armenians

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has expressed concern after the passage of legislation in the French Chamber of Deputies making it a crime to deny the 1915 massacre of Armenians in Turkey.

Turkey, which is a candidate to join the European Union, has reacted strongly to the legislation. In Turkey the event is played down as mutual attacks between Turks and Armenians because of World War I.

EU foreign ministers are discussing relations with Turkey in a meeting in Luxembourg Tuesday. Carl Bildt says the French legislation can cause problems in negotiations over issues such as opening Turkish airports and harbors to traffic from Cyrpus.

He says, however, that the French bill may never become law, since it still has to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Jacques Chirac.

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