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Sweden: Parliament Approves Resolution on Armenian Genocide

(Mar. 16, 2010) On March 11, 2010, the Swedish Parliament adopted by a majority of one vote (131-130) a resolution that recognizes as genocide the killing of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, in the years between 1914 and 1923. The opposition in the Parliament secured the resolution's passage by garnering the support of several MPs from center-right ruling coalition parties. A unique feature of the Swedish resolution is that it also refers to the genocide of “Assyrians/Syriacs/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks.” According to an Assyrian news agency, 1.5 million Armenians, 750,000 Assyrians, and 500,000 Greeks died as a result of the genocide. (Jaclyn Belczyk, Sweden Parliament Approves Armenian Genocide Resolution, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST, Mar. 11, 2010, available at
; Motion 2008/09:U332 Folkmordet 1915 på armenier, assyrier/syrianer/kaldéer och pontiska greker [text of the resolution], Swedish Parliament website, (last visited Mar. 12, 2010); Abdulmesih BarAbrahem, Sweden Recognizes Assyrian, Greek and Armenian Genocide, ASSYRIAN INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCY, available at

The resolution follows on the heels of a similar resolution adopted, also by a one-vote margin (23-22), by the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives (H.Res 252). However, a 2007 version passed by the Committee did not reach the House floor, and the U.S. State Department has expressed opposition to a vote on it being taken by the full House. According to Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley, “any further congressional action will impede the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia.” (Jonathan Cohen, Obama Administration Seeks To Block House Vote on Armenian Genocide Resolution, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST, Mar. 16, 2010, available at
; Chairman Berman's Opening Remarks at Markup of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H. Res. 252, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs website, Mar. 4, 2010, available at; H.Res 252 (Mar. 17, 2009), THOMAS online legislative database, available at //

According to an Armenian news source,

[The] [g]enocide of 1915 is recognized by Uruguay (recognized and condemned earliest, 1965), Russia, France, Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Canada, Chile, Argentina, and 42 States of America; by [the] Vatican, the European Parliament, and the World Council of Churches.(Sweden's Parliament Approves Armenian Genocide Resolution, AYSOR, Mar. 12, 2010, available at

Turkey has condemned the resolution and recalled its ambassador to Sweden. According to a statement issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who cancelled a visit to Stockholm scheduled for the week beginning March 15, “[o]ur people and our government reject this decision based upon major errors and without foundation.” (Turkey Protests Sweden Armenia 'Genocide' Vote, BBC NEWS, Mar. 11, 2010, available at