Turkey set to sign up for International Criminal Court

21st October 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced late Wednesday that his country would sign and ratify the Rome statute that created the International Criminal Court, which rules on war crimes and crimes against humanity.

PARIS, Oct 21 (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced late Wednesday that his country would sign and ratify the Rome statute that created the International Criminal Court, which rules on war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"Turkey will sign and ratify the Rome statute" that created the ICC, Erdogan said during a debate organised by France's Institute for International Relations.

Almost 100 countries have ratified the Rome treaty, which established the court in July 1998, excluding the United States, which opposes the court.

The court, headquartered in The Hague, began operating in July 2002.

The ICC is mandated to try genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

During the debate, Erdogan urged France to back Turkey's bid for EU membership.

He also stressed Turkey's historical line that there had been no genocide of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War One.

Turkey categorically rejects claims of genocide and says that between 250,000 and 500,000 Armenians were killed in civil strife when the Armenians rose up against their Ottoman rulers.

"Those who claim there was an Armenian genocide have not had the opportunity to study the Ottoman archives," he said.

"If they had then they would see a very different picture," he added. In 2001 the parliament in France, which has a sizeable Armenian minority, passed a law recognising the Armenian genocide.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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