Sweden's PM apologized for a Parliament resolution that recognized Turkey's massacre of some 1.5 million Armenians a century ago. Although without authorization from Brussels, Reinfeldt also assured Turkey's EU accession ambitions were not damaged by the spat of historical events that occurred over a century ago.
Joining Pres. Obama, Sweden's Prime Minister, Frederik Reinfeldt, apologized for the position taken by their countrymen - allies and opposition alike - who supported resolutions that recognized the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians up to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War.
Reinfeldt emphasized that Sweden will not allow the resolution to affect relations with Turkey. According to a statement issued by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office, Reinfeldt said, “The government is absolutely against the resolution, which was ratified as a result of domestic policy, and it will have no sanction or exercise power.”ADVERTISEMENT
Following passage of the resolution by Sweden's Parliament, and in lieu of a similar measure being introduced into the US Congress, both leaders struggled to defuse tensions evident when Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia last week. Reported in the Armenian newspaper, Hurriyet Daily News, Erdogan demanded that Sweden “take steps to remedy this mistake.”
Although without authorization from Brussels, Reinfeldt also assured Turkey's EU accession ambitions were not damaged by the spat of historical events that occurred over a century ago. Swedish and US diplomats hoped that their conciliatory statements would reverse Turkey's recall of their ambassadors from Stockholm and Washington, D.C. In addition, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration will block attempts to bring the Armenian Genocide Resolution to the House floor.