Oostlander Report Reaffirms Euro Parl Resolutions on Genocide Issue

European Armenian Federation
for Justice and Democracy
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March 19th, 2004
Contact: Talline Tachdjian
Tel.: +32 (0)2 732 70 27


The report:
– references the resolution of 18 June 1987
– calls on Turkey to reopen the borders with Armenia

Brussels, Belgium – The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (AFET) adopted on March
17th, 2004, the report `on Turkey’s progress towards accession,’ written by
Dutch Christian Democrat Representative, Mr. Arie Oostlander (PPE), by a
vote of 39 for, 2 against and 7 abstentions.

This vote came after 199 amendments to the report had been proposed and
considered by members and political parties.

During the Committee meeting the day before, Mr. Oostlander has presented 21
compromise amendments to the report, of which two amendments directly
concerned Armenia and the Armenian Genocide.

The adopted report `requests Turkey to reopen the borders with Armenia and
to promote good neighbourly relations with Armenia, to work together to
promote equitable solutions to the regional conflicts and not to take any
action that would stand in the way of a historic reconciliation.’

In another compromise amendment adopted by the Committee, the report wishes
for `the establishment of a dialogue between Turkish and Armenian academics,
social and non-governmental organisations in order to overcome the tragic
experiences of the past as has been expressed in its earlier resolutions (of
18 June 1987, 15 November 2000, 28 February 2002 and 26 February 2004)’.

`We hail the European Parliament’s affirmation of previous resolutions on
the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,’ declared Hilda Tchoboian,
Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation. `After many years of
intense perseverance, we have succeeded in resurfacing the resolution of
1987 and having it reaffirmed in several European Parliament reports.’

The Federation reminds that in his initial text, Mr. Oostlander had
deliberately evaded the genocide issue, citing as a pretext in its
explanatory statement, the Turkish sensitivities regarding this issue.

`Though a reasonable dialogue between peoples is always desirable, Mr.
Oostlander’s report fails to recognize that Turkey is still today far from
demonstrating the slightest serious intention to conduct dialogue with
Armenia and Armenians. Consequently, it is not possible to camouflage the
crime suffered by the Armenian people with well-meaning wishes,’ stated

Arie Oostlander’s report will be submitted to European Parliament vote
during its plenary session in the coming weeks.