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Noyan Tapan Armenians Today - Jun 19 2006

YEREVAN, JUNE 19, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. The delegation of the Czech Republic Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations, Defence and Security has arrived in Armenia on a working visit. On June 19, the members of RA National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Relations met with the delegation.

As Noyan Tapan was informed from RA NA Public Relations Department, Committee Chairman Armen Rustamian attached importance to cooperation between the two countries' parliaments emphasizing the necessity of activization of bilateral contacts that can be efficient both in the respect of exchange of experience and cooperation in spheres of policy, economy, trade and culture.

Rostislav Slavotinek, Vice-Chairman of Czech Republic Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Defence and Security, also attached importance to activization of political, interparliamentary and trade-economic contacts, cooperation in the legal-contractual field. Committee member Jaromir Stetina mentioned that two months ago a conference dedicated to the Genocide of 1915 was organized at the Senate on his initaitive and
the initiative of the Armenian community of Czech Republic, as well as under the patronage of former President of Czech Republic Vatslav Havel. The deputy expressed the hope that the Czech Senate will adopt a statement recognizing the Armenian Genocide in autumn.

In response to the question of the Czech party, whether there is some improvement in the Nagorno Karabakh settlement lately and whether the OSCE Minsk Group has exhausted itself and there is a necessity of a new format, Armen Rustamian said that there is no necessity of a new format as the Minsk Group has been engaged in the settlement since 1992, deeply masters the issue and has submitted three valuable proposals during the
past eight years. And as for no improvement in the negotiations process, according to A.Rustamian, in difference to Armenia, Azerbaijan constantly declines the proposals submitted to it and refuses to sign any document, which contradicts its conception of problem settlement. In his opinion, the process of conflicts settlement can be crowned with success only by development of regional partnership, which is greatly hampered by Azerbaijan and Turkey with the policy carried on by them, which draws dividing lines in the region and delays the settlement of the problem.

In connection with EU-Turkey and Armenia-Turkey relations the Chairman of RA NA Committee on Foreign Relations said that Armenia has repeatedly announced about its readiness to establish relations without any preconditions, in response to which the Turkish side puts forward preconditions, they are put forward in the context of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations, as well. As for Turkey's membership to EU, Armen Rustamian
said that the European Union is not only a geographical area, but first of all a system of values and for becoming a EU member a country should adopt the European values in this context attaching importance to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, because, while Turkey has not recognized the Genocide, there is no guarantee that it will not recur again.

Agreeing to Armen Rustamian, the Czech party added that the negotiations with Turkey on membership to EU will continue for another 10-15 years and bringing Turkey's foreign and home policy in correspondence with the European standards is obligatory.


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