Genocide Resolution to Go Before French Senate

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide would most likely go before the French Senate for discussion–announced presidential advisor–and chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of the Armenia Vahan Hovanessian at a press conference Thursday. Hovanessian was in France from Nov. 24 to 30 where he held a series of meetings.

The presidential advisor said that according to regulations of the French Senate–some time was required to place the Genocide issue on the agenda–since it has to be discussed by several committees.

Hovanessian described the atmosphere in the Senate as favorable for Armenia–given that Turkey has "emerged with a tough reaction" over the arrest of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan’s.

"Turkey has shown it’s true colors. Europe is astonished–and–evidently it did not know who it was dealing with," Hovanessian said.

While in France–Hovanessian held a series of meeting with French officials–including the French co-chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group George Vaugier. The meetings mainly focused on the Karabakh conflict resolution.

In his briefing to the press–Hovanessian said that French officials "are more or less concerned about Azerbaijan’s unrelenting position toward the plan," although all of them acknowledge the necessity for bringing Azerbaijan back to negotiations.

Hovanessian said that Azerbaijan’s rejection of the proposals was conditioned by "the moment and not the content," since in September–when the co-chairmen verbally presented the same proposals–Azerbaijan had not shown a negative stance.

The presidential advisor described the reasons for Azerbaijan’s rejecting of the recent Minsk Group proposals in the following manner: q The domestic instability in Azerbaijan after the recent presidential elections which have cast doubt on the country’s commitment to democracy. Haydar Aliyev’s declaration of victory is being questioned not only by the country’s opposition forces but international observers as well. In such a situation–Aliyev either has to resign or take popular steps. According to Hovanessian–Aliyev chose the latter; q Enhancement of a military spirit. "The oil mania failed–and Aliyev is trying to give something else to his people"; q According to some data–Turkey exerted pressure on Azerbaijan in September–when Azerbaijan gave a verbal consent to the proposals–Turkey was very much concerned.

According to Hovanessian–although Azerbaijan rejected the proposals–the principles addressed in the plan would not undergo changes–since "it is the minimum to which Armenia can agree."

"The proposals presented can not be ideal for Armenia. They can only become the basis for negotiations," said the presidential advisor.

At the same time–he stressed that recent hearsay asserting that under the new Minsk Group plan–Nagorno Karabakh is only given broad autonomy was not true.

"According to these proposals–Azerbaijan can’t submit Stepanakert to Baku," Hovanessian underlined.

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