The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom has released more than 50 confidential documents related to the massacres of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 and the UK government’s policy in that regard.
The documents are posted in the Releases section of the UK government’s official website
The documents contain letters of different divisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs addressed to UK ministers and deputies. The following is stated in one of the letters dated 17 June 2010 and addressed to then Minister for European Affairs Justin McKenzie Smith: “The Armenian Diaspora is making great lobbying efforts to convince the governments of the world to use the term “Genocide” for the events that took place in the Ottoman Empire between the years 1915 and 1917. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly receives letters from parliamentarians and the people who call on recognizing those events as Genocide.”
It is also mentioned that other government agencies and employees of the administration have started receiving letters regarding the issue, even though this is a matter under the powers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
It is suggested that the minister select a policy preferable for the UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs when reflecting upon the issue, that is, not recognize the Armenian massacres as Genocide. It is mentioned that this option will be relatively less risky since the Republic of Armenia will view ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide as the UK’s preference to relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan over Armenia. “But this is a view that they already have,” as stated in the document, “and even though the Armenian Diaspora in the UK is quite active in this regard, it is small in number (less than 20,000).”
“Recognition of the massacres of Armenians as genocide may increase pressure on the UK from other lobbying groups to recognize other “genocides”,” as stated in the document.
It is also mentioned that the UK has continuously condemned the massacres and deportations of ethnic Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. The British government has described those massacres as a “crime against humanity”.