French FM says Turkey should not overreact

Updated: 2011-12-23 10:06


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PARIS - French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday that Turkey should not overreact after France lower house of parliament adopted a draft bill criminalizing the denial of "Armenians'genocide."

"What I wish is that our Turkish friends do not overreact," Juppe said as Ankara announced to take diplomatic reprisal measures by recalling Turkish ambassador to Paris, suspending all political visits and freezing military cooperation with France.

In 2001, France passed a law recognizing the killing of Armenians as genocide. Five years later, the French National Assembly first passed a bill considering an offence to deny the mass killing of Armenians but was rejected by the Senate.

Forged by members of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling party Union for Popular Movement (UMP), the bill mandated a 45,000-euro ($58,750) fine and a year in jail for offenders.

Turkey which repeatedly rejected the allegations considered Paris genocide bill a move to win the votes of 500,000 ethnic Armenians in France in next year's elections.

Tension clouded Franco-Turkish economic and political relations as French head of State stands firm in refusing Turkey bid to join the European Union.