051022 - NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY, WITHDRAW OF BLOCKADE AND GENOCIDE RECOGNITION REQUESTED BY ALL
|EU / ARMENIA : NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY, WITHDRAW OF BLOCKADE AND GENOCIDE RECOGNITION REQUESTED BY ALL
Armenian President Robert Kotcharian paid an official visit from 19 to 21 October to Belgium and to the European institutions. He had several meetings with top leaders of the EU.
On this occasion, the president of the European Parliament, Mr. Josep Borrell, reiterated on Thursday that he wishes a quick start for the action plan with Armenian in the framework of the European Meighbourhood policy.
The action plans with the three South Caucasus countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have actually been delayed because of concerns with
Azerbaijan: from August, Baku has allowed direct flights from and to the occupied part of Cyprus and therefore caused strong tensions with the European Union.
Mr. Borrel explained that “It would be strange to block the start of the talks with Armenia over Cyprus, that dispute doesn't concern Armenia at all”
. He ensured that “the European Parliament will do what it can to make sure the EU negotiates with Armenia”. President Kotcharian said he hopes a start
“by the end of the year”.
On the other hand, M. Borrell restated the position of the European Parliament according to which Turkey must recognize the Armenian Genocide and leave the blockade toward Armenia as a prerequisite to accession.
On the same day, the Armenian president met Mr. Javier Solana, General Secretary of the European Council and High Representative for the CSFP.
After their talks, they made a joint statement in the same way. Mr. Solana especially insisted on the need for a quick opening of the border by Turkey.
He insisted on the “very constructive, very solid and very frank” relationships with Armenia. He also said that he was confident in the foreseeable start of negotiations in the framework of the European
Mr. Solana was questioned on the EU position regarding the requests made by Turkey to grant a new railroad Kars – Akhalkalak – Tbilissi rather to use
the existing one Kars – Akhalkalak – Tbilissi in order to complete the blockade of Armenia. He replied “we [with President Kocharian] talked about
this matter. We talked about Armenia's border with Turkey... We will do everything possible. The more the Armenian-Turkish border is opened the better. In that case there will be no longer the need to have this new railroad.”
“We hail these clarified positions with witch the key EU leaders show the right track, a track that matches the European values” declared Laurent Leylekian, executive director of the European Armenian Federation. “Armenia and the European Union want reinforced relations but these relations are
hindered by third States which infringe these values. Therefore, it was essential to reaffirm these values – on the Genocide recognition or on the blockade – and to depart from a regional approach witch artificially bound reformist countries to States which does not move forwards” he added. “The European Commission has now to decline these positions from the Parliament
and the Council in the relevant policies of the Union” concluded Leylekian.
In the course of his visit, President Kotcharian inaugurated the new Armenian embassy in Brussels. He also paid tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide during a ceremony given at the commemorative monument in Ixelles, with Mrs. Lizin, President of the Belgium Senate, in the presence of many Belgian policy-makers and representatives of the Armenian Diaspora.
For immediate release
October 22nd, 2005
Contact :Talline Tachdjian
Tel :+322 732 70 26