"EUROPE–WHICH HAS REQUIRED ALL ITS MEMBER COUNTRIES TO ABOLISH SIMILAR LAWS RELATING TO THE JEWISH GENOCIDE–MUST MAKE THE SAME DEMANDS FROM EU CANDIDATES LIKE TURKEY."
BRUSSELS–Thirty two of the sixty members of the Welsh National Assembly have signed a declaration on the Armenian Genocide. In their "Statement of Opinion," the Assembly members "recognize the Armenian Genocide–which happened under the Turkish Government in 1915" and "call on Turkey to lift the economic sanctions against the Republic of Armenia." They also "call upon the British Government not to support Turkey’ s application for membership to the European Union until it has recognized the genocide of 1915 and has ceased economic sanctions."
The "Statement of Opinion" was initiated in March 2000 by three members of the Welsh National Assembly: Dr. Richard Edwards (Labour)–Mr. Cynog Dafis (Plaid Cymru) and Ms. Kirsty Williams (Liberal Democrat)–with the support of the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG).
During the May 16–2002–Assembly session–with support from CRAG–these parliamentarians raised the question of the Armenian Genocide and invited their colleagues to sign the "Statement of Opinion."
"The Statement of Opinion of the Welsh Assembly members is consistent with the numerous measures acknowledging the Armenian Genocide by legislative bodies across Europe–including the European Parliament. It reveals a growing awareness of the present political and moral importance of Armenian Genocide recognition within European political circles," declared Hilda Tchoboian–Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD).
On June 18–1987–the European Parliament adopted a resolution (Session doc.: A2-0033/87 Debate: 18/06/87)–stating that Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide–its reluctance to abide by International Law in its dispute with Greece–the occupation of Cyprus by Turkish troops–as well as basic human rights for the Kurds–constitute inescapable obstacles to Turkey ‘s membership in the European Union. The resolution also noted Turkey’s lack of a real parliamentary democracy and its lack of respect for individual–collective and religious rights.
"As the European Copenhagen summit will consider Turkey’s membership to the EU–this statement reaffirms our position calling on the European Council and the European Parliament to include Genocide recognition and the abolition of anti-Armenian Turkish legislation as pre-conditions to Turkey’s membership," added Tchoboian.
The European Armenian Federation recently launched a Europe-wide campaign to urge Turkey to abolish its anti-Armenian laws that allow the Turkish Public Revenue Department to confiscate the individual and collective wealth and properties of Armenia’s deported and slaughtered during the Genocide.
"These laws are designed to enable today’s Turkey to reap the economic benefits of the Armenian Genocide. Europe–which has required all its member countries to abolish similar laws relating to the Jewish Genocide–must make the same deman’s from EU candidates like Turkey." concluded Tchoboian.
The European Armenian Federation has officially thanked the signatories of the Statement of Opinion–and commen’s CRAG and Wales Armenia Solidarity for their excellent work on this effort.