PRESS RELEASE

Federation of Armenian Organisations in The Netherlands (FAON)
24 April Committee
for the recognition and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915
Weesperstraat 91
2574 VS The Hague - The Netherlands
Contact: M. Hakhverdian
Tel: +31-704490209
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: http://www.24april.nl

Turkey can only access EU by recognising Armenian Genocide

The European framework of negotiation with Turkey must include the
recognition of Armenian Genocide

Armenian Federation presents a petition to the Dutch Parliament

The Hague, 30 August 2005 - 24 April Committee of the Federation of
Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON) presented today
a petition to the President of the Standing Committee on European
Affairs of the House of Representatives, Mrs. G. Van Heteren. Members
of parliament of almost all parliamentary factions were present. The
24 April Committee calls for the amendment of the proposed negotiation
framework for Turkeyıs accession to EU. In this document, the European
Commission has included the subjects, which must be discussed with
Turkey during the accession negotiations beginning probably from
3 October 2005. The Armenian Genocide and Turkeyıs relation with
neighbouring country Armenia is, however, not mentioned in this
document. This approach has already been received many criticism in
Europe. Hundreds of European organisations want that recognition of
the Armenian Genocide to be a part of the negotiations. The final
negotiation framework will be adopted at European level in the month
of September.

The Dutch House of Representatives has recognised the Armenian Genocide
in December 2004, by unanimously adopting the motion of André Rouvoet
(Christian Union), wherein the Dutch government is requested to bring
up continuously and expressly the recognition of the Armenian Genocide
in the dialogue with Turkey. In the last period in European context the
Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Ben Bot has persistently submitted
arguments in favour of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by
Turkey. However, since there is no word mentioned on this question
in the proposed negotiation framework, it is, according to 24 April
Committee, the responsibility of the House of Representatives and
the minister to insist on the inclusion of effective agreements on
this point in the document.

Explicit agreements are all the more necessary, because since 17
December 2004, the day that it was decided that probably from 3
October 2005 the negotiations with Turkey for accession to EU will
start, Turkey turned on more intensive denial policy not only at home,
but also abroad and particularly in Europe.

Minister Bot spoke several times at the House of Representatives about
the awareness of Turkey to not be able to join the EU without coming
to terms with the past. However, since such condition is not mentioned
anywhere in the negotiation framework established by the European
Commission, it is not clear how Turkey can be bound to this condition.

For this reason the 24 April Committee urges that the Netherlands
should put heavy pressure for amendment of this document, in the sense
that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide becomes an explicit
component of the negotiation framework. It is obvious that at the start
of the negotiations all Copenhagen criteria must be implemented. Since
normal relations with neighbouring countries belong to these criteria ,
the 24 April Committee expects that in the short term Turkey will open
the border with neighbouring country Armenia and will also establish
diplomatic relations. If it would not be the case, then opening of the
border and establishment of diplomatic relations with Armenia has to be
added of course at the remaining conditions for possible negotiations.

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress