Armenian lobbyists to work hard

Pan Armenian Network, Armenia
March 25 2004


In the draft report of the European Parliament on Turkey’s membership
in the EU the genocide and blockade of Armenia are mentioned

Representative of Christian-Democratic party of the Netherlands Ari
Osterlander has elaborated a report, ”Progress of Turkey in EU is a
very important document for Ankara. The Armenian lobbyist
organizations of Europe do their membership” which has been put on
the agenda of the upcoming session of the European Parliament. This
best in order to have clauses connected with the Genocide and
Armenia’s blockade included in the final text of the report.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The report was discussed recently in the commission
of the European Parliament on foreign affairs, human rights, defense
and security. The draft of the report was significantly modified,
also as a result of the activity of Armenian lobbyists. A day before
the voting of the report clauses concerning the blockade and genocide
were included in the report.

However, the word Genocide is not mentioned. ”The tragic experience
of the past mentioned in the resolutions of the European Parliament
adopted earlier”. This long and strange phrase has come to replace
the word ”Genocide”. The authors of the report see the overcoming
of the problems caused by the ”tragic experience of the past” in
”establishment of a dialogue between the Turkish and Armenian
academic circles, NGOs and public organizations”. It is evident that
the Foreign Ministry of Armenia and the Armenian lobbyist
organizations have to carry out a certain amount of work so that the
final text of the report to be approved at the plenary session of the
European Parliament the Ankara’s policy towards Armenia is formulated
more precisely.

The same with Turkey’s blockade of Armenia. The word ”blockade” was
not included in the report. It only urges Turkey ”to open the
borders with Armenia, establish good-neighbor relations … and to
give up any action impeding the conciliation of the two countries”.

At the same time, the draft report reads that Turkey has lot of
things to do before starting the negotiations about the terms of
entering the EU. The document urges the European commission to make
pressure over Ankara in order to oblige it to solve its problems with
human rights, legality and settlement of the Cyprus conflict. The
report notes that the military officers have a great influence over
the decision-making process in the country; it speaks about the
tortures, violation of rights of religious minorities, etc. We should
note that if all these negative facts are not eliminated, the
European Parliament will have the right to postpone the negotiations.
According to an agreement concluded earlier, it is planned to start
the negotiations in the end of this year.

Submitted by Janoyan Ana