Apostolic–Catholic–and Protestant Churches–Three Armenian Parties–ARS and AGBU among Signatories
BRUSSELS–Belgium–Close to three dozen of the leading European-Armenian associations and organizations have already joined the Europe-wide Armenian initiative expressing deep reservations about the recreation of the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC)–reported the Armenian National Committee of Europe (CDCA Europe).
Thirty-five Armenian organizations–associations and institutions affiliated with the Coordinating Council of Armenian Associations and Organizations of France–Paris Region (CCAF Paris) have signed the Joint Declaration–which was spearheaded by the CDCA Europe last month.
"These types of initiatives (TARC) obstruct the international Armenian Genocide recognition process–and–in particular–to attaining Turkish recognition–by diverting the international community’s attention toward insignificant efforts. As such–they cannot contribute to true reconciliation or to a sincere and constructive dialogue between the Turkish State and the Armenian people," said Alexis Govciyan–Chairman of the CCAF Paris.
A list of signatories of the Joint Declaration follows:
Political organizations and parties: Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–Armenian Liberal Democrat Organization (ADL-Ramgavar)–Movement of the Armenia’s of France for Progress–Social Democrat Party Huntchakian–Armenian National Committee of France (CDCA France)
Religious associations: Religious organization of the Armenian Apostolic Church–Religious organization of the Armenian Protestant Church of France–Sainte-Croix Association of the Armenian Catholics of France.
Humanitarian associations: Armenian Association of Social Assistance (AAAS)–Blue Cross of the Armenia’s of France (ARS France)–Armenian Medical Union of France (UMAF)–Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU).
Cultural associations: Hamazkayne–Cultural Union of the Armenia’s of Montreuil (UCAM)–French Cultural Union of the Armenia’s of France (UCFAF).
Youth associations: Orientation Center For Armenian Students (COPEA)–F.R.A. Nor Seround (AYF France)–Gadz and Nazarpek (Hentchakian youth)–Armenian Youth of France (JAF) Sports associations: Homenetmen France
Trade associations: Armenian International Interprofessional Organization (GIIA)
Support associations for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh: Support Association for the Nagorno-Karabagh–Chen Association–Support Association for the Armenian Patriots (ASPA) Other associations: French association of the Armenia’s of Villejuif (AFAV)–Artists and Armenian Plastics Technicians of France (APAF)–Association of the Friends of ArmenNews–Club of the Friends of AYP FM–AAAG of St.Mesrop Bilingual school–French Association of Armenian Lawyers (AFAJA)–Association of the Friendly Ladies of Tebrotzassre School–Armenian Institute of France–Union for the Coordination and Information of Armenia’s (UCIA)–National Association of Ex-serviceman and Resistant Armenian (ANACRA)
"Recognition and reparations must precede any reconciliation effort," announced Hilda Tchoboian–Chairperson of the CDCA Europe. "It is morally and politically indefensible for the facts of a genocide to be subject to the debate of a reconciliation process. Several United Nations studies over the years have demonstrated this point. Turkey should not be allowed to escape accountability in this manner."
"We anticipate other organizations from across Europe to add their names to this joint declaration in the coming weeks," added Tchoboian.
The text of the Joint Declaration follows:
According to recent press accounts–the so-called Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) is about to be reactivated under a newly conceived format.
At this early stage–we reserve specific commentary on the nature of this undertaking–which is being promoted as the successor organism of the "Commission" that was previously active.
It is important to remember that the basic assumption underlying the activities of TARC was the idea that the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide was still subject to debate–that the Genocide was merely a dispute to be argued between the Armenia’s and the Turks–and that future efforts in this regard–and their ultimate consequences–should be relegated to the field of historical research.
In reality–this "Commission" served as nothing but a tool for Turkey to attempt to derail–at times with success–recent international progress toward recognition of the Armenian Genocide by various world bodies.
In view of these facts–the European Armenian organizations–the political parties represented in the Armenian Parliament–and the Armenian public opinion worldwide have rejected this "Commission". Therefore–while reaffirming our support for the principle of dialogue between two nations with regard to all questions of common interest–we strongly denounce all attempts at reconstituting this so-called Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission–and we emphasize that such initiatives are nothing but new iterations of the Turkish government’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Far from taking any sincere steps toward the recognition of the Armenian Genocide–Turkey has instead consistently maintained its blockade of Armenia and pursued expansionist regional policies–endangering the stability of the Caucasus and the security of Armenia.
Therefore–in light of the international community’s obligation to hold Turkey accountable for its responsibilities–and despite this new initiative–we commit ourselves to actively pursuing international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
At the same time–we call upon all organizations–associations and individuals–who share a commitment to the principles of justice and truth–to be vigilant and place this new "Commission" on notice against all new attempts to prolong or legitimize the denialist policies of the Turkish government.