ANKARA: Debre: Armenian Issue is not Our Problem

Zaman, Turkey
Feb 3 2005

Debre: Armenian Issue is not Our Problem
By Zaman
Published: Thursday 03, 2005

Speaker of the French National Parliament Jean-Louis Debre discussed
Turkey’s European Union (EU) membership bid just before his Turkey
visit begins today. Debre responded to a question about whether the
Armenian issue was a problem in the development of Turkey-France
relations: “Let’s be honest. First of all, the Armenian problem is
not an issue concerning Turkey-France relations. It is rather about
Turkey-Armenia relations and Turkey’s own history in particular.”

The EU that Turkey wants to join was the built by confronting public
and state history, Debre said, and they believe that Turkey would
understand this and its part of the European project. The French
Speaker also added that it is about “overcoming the conflicts to
build a peaceful unity, respecting human rights, paying attention to
the responsibility to remember, and making peace with one’s own
history.” Meanwhile, the French Parliament approved the so-called
genocide bill in 2001, which led to a long break in Turkey-France

The French delegation will hold meetings in Istanbul and Ankara
during their visit which was realized with the support of French
President Jacques Chirac. The delegation will meet with Turkish
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Speaker of the Turkish Parliament Bulent Arinc and Chief of the
General Stuff Hilmi Ozkok. The parliamentary delegation will also
meet with representatives of the Turkey Industrialists and
Businessmen Association (TUSIAD) and visit Galatasaray University in
Istanbul on Saturday (February 5).