16 April 2015, 17:28
Putin hopes conflict caused by Pope's statement on genocide of Armenians can be resolved (updated)
Moscow, April 16, Interfax - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is confident that the situation with the speech by Pope Francis in the Vatican on the genocide of Armenians will be resolved.
"I don't want to interfere in the polemic between the Pope and Turkey. Popes are so authoritarian. I consider the Pope to have so much authority in the world that he will find a way to achieve understanding with all people on our planet, regardless of their religious affiliation," Putin told reporters on Thursday.
Putin said he is not familiar with the situation, adding: "I am confident that people in Turkey are smart and flexible enough to resolve any problems that may arise."
On April 12, Pope Francis served a mass in the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican in memory of the victim of the 1915 genocide of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. The mass was attended by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. During the mass, the pontiff called the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire genocide.
That was the first time a pope had used the term 'genocide' to describe the events that occurred in 1915. Observers said after the mass it would cause diplomatic problems between the Vatican and Turkey.
On the same day, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican ambassador in Ankara to explain the pontiff's statement. The media reports on the issue contained no details o the content of the conversation between the diplomats.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sharply criticized the Pope's statement on the genocide of Armenians. "The statement by the Pope, which is far from official and historical reality, cannot be accepted by us," the minister said, adding that "it is not appropriate for religious authorities to make insulting, outrageous and ungrounded statements."
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