European Parliament Urges Turkey, Armenia Sign Protocols

Nov 24 2009

The candidates for EU membership, as well as applicants, must
continue reforms in such fields as legislation, freedom of speech,
treatment of ethnic minorities, corruption and organized crime
control, says a resolution adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee,
European Parliament. The resolution has been put to the November 26
vote. The European Parliament reaffirmed its commitment to the EU
expansion policy.

As regards legal norms, the European Parliament welcomes the dynamics
in the region though some of the countries still face such problems as
corruption and organized crime. By "freedom of speech" the European
Parliament understands freedom of the press and independence of
regulatory bodies. This particularly concerns Turkey and the West
Balkan states.

The resolution indicates the necessary for immediate legislative
reforms in Turkey for the improvement of state and society. The
European Parliament regrets the slow progress in religious
freedom (Alevi and non-Islamic religions) and in freedom of speech
(unprecedented fines imposed on media groups). The European Parliament
is also critical of Turkey for failing to fulfill its commitments
under the protocol to the Turkey-EU association agreement.

The European Parliament urges Turkey to sign the agreement in the
context of the Nabucco project and calls for the opening of an "energy
chapter" in the negotiations for the accession to the agreement. The
European Parliament stresses the importance of diplomatic efforts
to normalize the Armenian-Turkish relations. The resolution urges
the Armenian and Turkish Parliaments to ratify the Armenian-Turkish

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