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-- Eurlings: “there is no accession without an acknowledgement of the Armenian
genocide” --

The European parliament adopted on Wednesday 27 September a resolution on “Turkey’s progress towards accession” by 429 votes in favour, 71 against and 125
abstentions. The report in a highly critical tone demonstrates the sharp degradation of relations between Turkey and the European Union and the
unfavourable situation of the negotiation process.

As for the Armenian genocide, the European Parliament maintained the position by recalling that "although the recognition of the Armenian genocide as such does
not formally constitute one of the Copenhagen criteria, it is essential that a country towards accession faces and recognizes its past". In fact, this was the only point underlined by the rapporteur, Mr. Eurlings who, at the end of the vote, emphasised by "Let’s be clear: even if the recognition of the Armenian genocide is not formally a condition of membership, Turkey cannot join the Union
without recognizing its past”.

However, on this question, the European Parliament rejected by 320 votes against 283 and 40 abstentions paragraph 49 that had already been adopted by the
Committee of Foreign Affairs and which places the recognition of the Armenian genocide as a precondition to accession.

“We deeply thank those who – among all groups – have done everything in order to maintain the formulation which constituted only a recall of the European
parliament former positions” declared the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation, Hilda Tchoboian. “The rejection of this paragraph is purely linked to the current situation and was imposed by Turkey with the expedience of the chancelleries of the European Countries. We note however that the impact of this suppression was restrained by the declarations of the rapporteur on this very subject” continued Hilda Tchoboian.

In addition, the Federation regrets the lack of awareness which led the European Parliament – in line with the socialist group proposal – “to take note of
Turkey’s proposal to establish a bilateral committee of experts which should be held under the auspices of the United Nations” in order to pronounce judgment on
the Armenian genocide. The Federation reminds that the experts of the UN Sub-Committee on Human Rights have in 1985 already acknowledged without any ambiguity the Armenian genocide.

“The European parliament resolution is a real disavowal of the Turkey’s aggressive policy since it considers that the blockade of Armenia explicitly
violates the conditions of membership of this country”, continued Hilda Tchoboian. “Now, we are waiting for the European executive to consider this
issue with the same determination as the Cypriot issue, concluded Hilda The Federation notes with satisfaction that the Armenian genocide and the blockade forced by Turkey – as is the question of the Cyprus occupation and the capacity of the Union to absorb members constitute the core of the European preoccupations regarding Turkey’s controversial application.

For Justice and Democracy
Avenue de la Renaissance 10
B-1000 Bruxelles
Tel: +32 (0)2 732 70 26
Tel/Fax : +32 (0)2 732 70 27

for immediate release
29 septembre 2006
Contact: Varténie ECHO
Tel/Fax : +32 (0)2 732 70 27


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