Nacho Sánchez Amor

European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Urges Turkey to Recognize Armenian Genocide, Supports Normalization

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By Lilit Gasparyan

BRUSSELS (Armenpress) — The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has adopted a report on Turkey which also mentions the latter’s normalization process with Armenia.

The report, released on July 17, supports the Armenia-Turkey normalization for reconciliation, regional stability and security. The report welcomes the progress achieved so far and commends the Armenian prime minister’s attendance of the Turkish President’s inauguration ceremony.

The report once again calls on Turkey to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide and preserve the Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey.

The members of European Parliament (MEPs) urge the EU and Turkey to break the current deadlock and find “a parallel and realistic framework” for European Union (EU) and Turkey relations.

Unless there is a drastic change of course by the Turkish government, Turkey’s EU accession process cannot resume under the current circumstances, the MEPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee said in the report adopted on Tuesday (by 47 votes in favor, no votes against and 10 abstentions).

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Urging the Turkish government, the European Union and its member states to break the current deadlock and move towards a closer partnership, MEPs recommend starting a reflection process to find a parallel and realistic framework for EU-Turkey relations. They call on the Commission to explore possible formats for a mutually appealing framework.

In the report, MEPs confirm that Turkey remains a candidate for EU accession, a NATO ally and a key partner in security, trade and economic relations, and migration, stressing that Turkey is expected to respect democratic values, rule of law, human rights and abide by EU laws, principles and obligations.

The report urged Turkey to ratify Sweden’s NATO membership without any further delay, and underlines that the NATO accession process of one country can in no way be linked to the EU accession process of another. Each country’s progress on the path towards the EU remains based on its own merits, MEPs stress.
The report welcomes Turkey’s vote in favor of condemning Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine in the UN General Assembly and its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, regretting that Turkey does not support sanctions outside the UN framework. Turkey’s alignment rate with the EU’s Common foreign and security policy has slipped to an all-time low of 7 percent, making it by far the lowest of all enlargement countries.

MEPs commended Turkey’s efforts to continue hosting the largest refugee population in the world of almost four million people. They welcome the continued provision of EU funding for refugees and host communities in Turkey, and express their strong commitment to sustain this in the future.

Expressing their condolences to the families of the victims of the devastating earthquakes of February 6, 2023, the MEPs stated that the EU should continue to support the people of Turkey in meeting their humanitarian needs and reconstruction efforts. They underline that European solidarity could lead to a tangible improvement in relations between the EU and Turkey.

The rapporteur Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, Spain) said: “We have recently seen a renewed interest from the Turkish government in reviving the EU accession process. This will not happen as a result of geopolitical bargaining, but when Turkish authorities show real interest in stopping the continuous backsliding in fundamental freedoms and rule of law. If the Turkish government is sincere in this they should show it with concrete reforms and actions.”

Turkey’s EU accession talks have been in a deadlock since 2018 due to the deteriorating condition of Turkey’s rule of law and democracy. The report will be sent to the European Parliament plenary session for voting.

 

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