(AINA) -- The Austrian Parliament voted today to recognize the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turks during World War One. The parliament approved a joint declaration approved by the six major Austrian political parties (AINA 2015-04-22).
Doris Bures, the speaker of the Parliament, said "April 24, 1915 marked the beginning of a policy of deportation and persecution, which ended in genocide."
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said "With this step Austria has made an important contribution to the noble task of preventing genocides and other crimes against humanity."
The declaration said:
Due to the historical responsibility, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was allied in the First World War with the Ottoman Empire, it is our duty to recognize the terrible events as genocide and condemn it," says the joint statement. The statement says "it is also the duty of Turkey to honestly face this dark and painful chapter of its past and acknowledge the crimes committed during the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as genocide.
Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks worked in cooperation to lobby the Austrian government to recognize the genocide, which between 1915 and 1918 claimed 750,000 Assyrians (75%), 500,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians lives. The genocide was perpetrated by Ottoman Turks and Kurds and aimed at and nearly succeeded in destroying the Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire.