Head of the Estonia-Armenia parliamentary group, Mati Raidma, said the debate over the definition of the events surrounding the death of 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago, is not where it should be and Estonia has not taken an official stand on whether the deaths constituted genocide.
This weekend marks 100 years since two million Armenians were driven from their homes by the Ottoman Empire and up to 1.5 million died. Many EU nations, as well as the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the UN Commission on Human Rights have labeled the event genocide - something which Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, denies. Estonia and Latvia have not so far taken an official stance.
Raidma, who is representing Estonia at the memorial events in Armenia, said whatever the definition, the event war a crime against humanity.
Speaking about the definition, Raidma said progress has been made. “More states are taking an official position on the political level. The main goal would be conciliation between the peoples.” He added that history and what has been done, must be acknowledged for a solution to be achieved.
“The Estonian state and people understand the tragedy which Armenians faced 100 years ago,” he added.
Armenia has labeled the events genocide while Turkey has strongly rejected the claim, saying the Ottoman authorities did not attempt to exterminate the Armenian people.
Editor: J.M. Laats