By Theodore Shoebat
The Italian government defended Pope Francis against Turkey in the wake of Turkey getting aggressive on account of the Pope’s exposing of the Armenian Genocide. Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, told Turkey to respect the values of Italy, as we read in one report:
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has criticized Turkey after Ankara lashed out at Pope Francis for calling the 1915 mass killings of Armenians the first genocide of the 20th century, and called on the Turkish government to respect the common values of the European Union.
Voicing support for the pope, Renzi said Turkey has the ball in its court regarding its accession to the EU.
After facing charges from the opposition of not backing the pope in the face of relentless tirades, the Italian government began to issue a succession of public remarks, announcing its endorsement of the pope, but falling short of describing the 1915 events as genocide.
Sandro Gozi, secretary for Italy’s EU affairs, told reporters on Wednesday that no Italian government has taken an official position regarding the Armenian massacres, stressing that governments should avoid the use of the word genocide. “It is the historians’ duty [to describe an event as genocide],” Gozi added, in implicit support of the Turkish government’s long-held argument in which Ankara calls for establishing a joint commission of Turkish and Armenian historians to investigate the 1915 events.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Pope Francis only repeated a previous statement issued by Pope Jean Paul II and had not mentioned Turkey in his speech, noting that Turkey’s harsh reaction against the pontiff was unjust.
Renzi delivered the statement in response to a question during his visit to Washington. Renzi underlined that it is in everybody’s interest if Turkey finalizes its integration with EU criteria and institutions. He went on to say that integration with EU institutions depends on the Ankara government.
Opposition parties in Italy are calling on the Italian government to suspend Turkey’s EU negotiations because of Ankara’s denialist policy regarding the “Armenian genocide.”
Italy does not officially recognize the killings of the Armenians as genocide.