BRUSSELS–On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–the European Armenian Federation issued a statement calling on European civil society–including representatives of associative organizations–survivors of the Armenian genocide–children and grandchildren of Armenian genocide survivors–among others–to sign a declaration urging the democratic and executive institutions of the European Union to appropriately commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first Genocide of the 20th century. The Federation also called on national Parliamen’s and the European Parliament to clearly express their will for Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide in all official documen’s regarding future negotiations with the Republic of Turkey.
The Federation stressed that this anniversary–falling on the actual year set for the opening of negotiations with Turkey–must mark a turning point in the priority given to the Genocide issue by the European Executive in its relations with Turkey.
The European Commission–in the framework of defining its perspective on regional policy–made reference to the Armenian genocide in its last report on Turkey. The Commission–however–failed to use the proper term of genocide–and–inappropriately–reduced this international issue to a simple bilateral one between Turkey and Armenia.
"Accepting a denialist country in its midst–is first of all–a serious problem for the future of Europe. The European Executive cannot ignore anymore the continued calls of national Parliamen’s and the European Parliament–whose resolution of December 15th–2004 asked the European Commission and Council to demand that Turkey recognize the Genocide," said Hilda Tchoboian–Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.
The European Federation’s statement also recalled that many European countries were witnesses to the annihilation of the Armenia’s–which occurred on the borders of Europe–while others actually were complicit in its implementation. Others promised to work for justice and to institute legal proceedings against the responsible state and its guilty leaders. In the end–however–these promises were never fulfilled due to political compromises by the Allies–which led to a general amnesia regarding this tragedy throughout Europe–the statement read.
"The Europe of today–made up of these states–cannot escape its responsibility for addressing this crime. The duty of memory is essential for all Europeans and European democratic institutions," noted Tchoboian.
The declaration of the European Armenian Federation is open to all democratic and constituent organizations that comprise European civil society. The text is available on www.eafjd.org.