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1er Octobre 2007- Contact : Varténie ECHO
- More than 230 Amendments Submitted for Vote
- Parliamentarians Expose Eluded Armenians Issues

Brussels, Belgium – European Parliament deputies proposed 236 amendments aimed at improving the draft resolution on “EU-Turkey Relations”. The draft text of this document, prepared by Mrs. Oomen-Ruijten (Christian-democrats, Netherlands), came under criticism – including within her own political party, the EPP – because of its laconic wording that evaded most of the key issues: the sociocultural rights of Kurds, the occupation of Cyprus, the EU's absorption capacity and the enduring racist forces in the upper echelons of the Turkish government.

Numerous amendments, proposed by MEPs from various political parties, aim to address Armenian issues, which were fully censored in the draft text. Hence, Turkey’s will to exclude Armenia from regional projects and its direct blockade of Armenia are denounced by several amendments including those from Conservatives (EPP), Liberals (Lib/Dem), Souverainists (UEN) and Socialists (PSE). These amendments as well as those by the Leftists (GUE) reiterate the requirement that Ankara recognize the Armenian Genocide and put an end to its official policy of denial. The texts of all of these amendments are available here.

« Compromise » amendments – which themselves exclude the Armenian elements of the Turkish record -- have been proposed by the rapporteur Mrs. Oomen-Ruijten and are currently under negotiation. However, several MEPs have made it clear that they will maintain their amendments explicitly asking Turkey to recognize the Genocide and to lift the blockade of Armenia.

« We are very pleased for Europe that there are still some MEPs who continue to remind – year after year – of the political and moral requirements regarding Turkey’s candidacy,” stated Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.

The European Armenian Federation urges the European deputies to vote for the amendments that clearly call on Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, to end its official policy of denial, to withdraw its blockade of Armenia and to end its policy of by-passing Armenia in regional projects.

The resolution will be voted on in the Foreign Affairs committee this Wednesday, the 3rd of October.
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