Athens: Tension in 53rd Assembly of Jt parliamentary cmte EU-Turkey

Athens News Agency, Greece
February 24, 2005


PARIS (ANA/O. Tsipira) – Religion, Armenia and Cyprus were the three
issues which prevailed in the meetings of the 53rd Assembly of the
Joint Parliamentary Committee “”EU-Turkey” which concluded in
Strasbourg on Thursday

During a press conference which closed the sessions, Dutch Committee
President Joost Lagendijk explained that the meetings of the Joint
Committee constitute a platform of dialogue and not a space of

“It is an opportunity for the Turkish deputies to understand why the
European Parliament continues to pressure for a solution to the
Cyprus issue, or for a recognition of the genocide of the Armenians.
At the same time, it was useful for the European deputies to see
better how the Turks deal with the issues and the solutions which
could found. From this point of view our meeting was successfull, not
because we reached some conclusions, but because we understood and
saw where the probems are exactly located and on which we will talk
about in the future,” Lagendijk said.” The problems appeared from the
first hours of the meeting, creating tension in the atmosphere,
something which outraged certain Eurodeputies, such as the German (of
Turkish origin) Vural Oger, to declare that “they poisoned the
dialogue.” French Eurodeputy Jacques Toubon asked whether the Council
and the Commission would take into consideration, before a final
decision on Turkey’s EU accession is taken, a European Parliament
resolution calling on Ankara to recognise the genocide of the

Tension was also created by Cypriot Eurodeputy Marios Matsakis who
claimed that Turkey is accountable for three genocides, of the
Armenians, Kurds and Greeks.