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-- Request Represents the First Time the Commission has Directly Pressed Ankara to end its Campaign of Armenian Genocide Denial --

Brussels, Belgium (26 October 2005) - In an unprecedented move welcomed by the European Armenian Federation, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has directly called upon Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

During a recent speech at Harvard University (United States), Mr. Barrosostressed that, "We should bear in mind that Turkey is an important state and
has great potential from the viewpoint of the social and economic future ofEurope. However the problem of Kurds and national minorities still remains
a very delicate matter for Turkey. National minorities inTurkey constantly face infringement of their human rights."

In his remarks about European relations with Turkey, Mr Barroso stated thatAnkara is developing relations with Greece and should adopt a similarly constructive approach toward Armenia. He explained that, "Turks shouldacknowledge the reality of the Armenian Genocide. Orhan Pamuk's case is aninadmissible step from the standpoint of freedom of speech. Turkey shouldrefrain from simplified attitude towards the Armenian issue. Europeansdislike the words 'there was no Genocide.' Ankara's best move would be the
acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide and opening the borders withArmenia."

"We welcome the unprecedented statement by Mr. Barroso as both a reflectionof true European values and a return to a principled approach on the part of
the European Commission and the European Union. With this declaration bythe Commission's president, the three main bodies of the E.U. - the Parliament, Commission and Council - have all taken a common stand - a firmposition that can no longer be ignored by Turkey," said Hilda Tchoboian,chairwoman of the European Armenian Federation.

"We expect that this renewed determination on the part of Europeaninstitutions will impress upon Turkey that regional peace and stabilityrequires that Turkey come to terms with its responsibilities for he Armenian Genocide," she continued. "As a next step, we will work toward theCommission incorporating these demands into the relevant chapters of theAcquis and into screening procedure for Turkey's EU application," concluded


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