French President Francois Hollande confirmed Saturday plans for a new law criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide with representatives of the Armenian community, the Elysee Palace confirmed.
The historical question has long been a hot-button issue between Turkey and Armenians, a dispute that has also drawn in other countries and earlier this year sparked a diplomatic crisis between France and Turkey.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their forebears were killed in a 1915-16 genocide by Turkey's former Ottoman Empire. Turkey says 500,000 died and ascribes the toll to fighting and starvation during World War I.
Hollande's conservative predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy angered Ankara when he pushed ahead with a bill to criminalise denial of the Armenian genocide.
After the contentious bill passed the National Assembly in December, Turkey retaliated by suspending military and political cooperation with Paris.
But France's top constitutional court struck down the bill in February, saying it violated free expression, in a ruling welcomed by Ankara.
Sarkozy vowed to launch a new law but was defeated at the polls.
Now his Socialist successor Hollande has clarified in a talk with the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) that he will propose a similar law, the group said Saturday.
"Francois Hollande has again expressed his willingness to propose a bill designed to curb the denial of the Armenian genocide, as he had said during his campaign and even before," said the group.
It said Hollande had called to clarify his position after confusion over statements by his Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
The Elysee Palace confirmed the telephone conversation and told AFP: "The president expressed his commitments during the campaign. He will keep them."