Dutch lawmakers label massacre of Armenians as genocide

Lawmakers in the lower house of the Dutch parliament have overwhelmingly voted to label as genocide the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks more than a century ago. The move is likely to further ratchet up diplomatic tensions between the Netherlands and Turkey.

Despite Thursday's vote, acting Foreign Affairs Minister Sigrid Kaag said that the Dutch government would not follow the parliament's lead.

Kaag says the Cabinet will "continue to exercise restraint" in the politically charged issue.

Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event viewed by many scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey disputes the description, saying the toll has been inflated and considers those killed victims of a civil war.