TURKISH MINISTER URGES EU, FRANCE NOT TO "INTERFERE" IN ARMENIAN ISSUE

Anatolia news agency, Ankara,
4 Oct 06

Brussels, 4 October: Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister
Abdullatif Sener warned the EU and some other countries not to
interfere in Turkish-Armenian relations.

Sener is in Belgian capital of Brussels to participate in events
organized by the Turkish Industrialists' & Businessmen's Association
(TUSIAD) and European Policy Centre to mark the first anniversary of
the start of Turkey-EU negotiations.

In an exclusive interview with the AA [Anatolia] correspondent,
Sener referred to French President Jacques Chirac's remarks about the
so-called Armenian genocide allegations, and said: "Chirac said that
recognition of so-called Armenian genocide should be a precondition
before Turkey's EU membership. A resolution is being discussed in
France and it foresees fine and imprisonment for those who deny
Armenian genocide. It is not possible to accept such an attitude.

This is against the cultural atmosphere the EU is trying to create."

"Armenia is not a European country, it is an Asian country. So, it is
a third country for the EU. So, it is meaningless to bring this matter
up within the scope of Turkey's EU membership process," he stated.

Sener added: "Whether it is an EU member or another country, everybody
who is affecting the Armenian policy from outside should give up his
endeavours. Chirac's remarks are not sincere, they aim to affect the
domestic policy." [Passage omitted]