Roustamian Speaks On Turkish Failure to Meet International Standards at PACE

YEREVAN (combined sources)–Armen Roustamian–a member of the ARF Armenia Executive Council and member of the ARF parliamentary faction in the Armenian Parliament spoke at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) session held in Strasbourg on June 28.

In his opening remarks–Roustamian thanked the session’s speakers for the interesting reports presented. Roustamian also expressed gratitude toward the fact that PACE periodically addresses those countries–which fail to respect their obligations to the organization. According to Roustamian–the process of monitoring should assist these countries in having their problems resolved in a reasonable period of time.

Turkey’s avoidance to resolve the problem was emphasized by Roustamian. Turkey–who has been a member of the Council of Europe for several decades–is far from implementing its obligations to the organization. This is simply proven by the frequent violations of minority human rights in the face of the Kurds–as well as other elementary human rights violations registered by various international organizations.

Roustamian acknowledged the fact that the internal situation of Turkey has been discussed many times at various sessions of PACE–and that he would also address this issue once again. He mentioned that the implementation of obligations does not a have a direct goal of resolving the country’s internal problems and thus establishing a democratic society there.

The implementation of such obligations should also create opportunities for defining and following a foreign policy–which would meet international standards. However–the present policy of Turkey toward its neighboring countries indicates that it is neither following international standards nor rejecting the aggressive and occupational views of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the century and consequently responsible for the actions of its predecessor.

Turkey’s ongoing blockade of Armenia for more than ten years now–Turkish assistance to Azerbaijan without preconditions in the Nagorno- Karabakh conflict–and the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus for over 25 years–prove Turkey has no intention to adhere to International Law.

Turkish failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire was also touched upon by Armen Roustamian. Turkey’s distortion of historical facts aimed at presenting the crime executors as victims remains a problem. At a recent summit held in Istanbul–Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem spoke disrespectfully against the Armenia’s. Cem not only humiliated the Armenia’s living in Turkey–but also stated that the idea to deport 30,000-35,000 Armenia’s from Turkey was in response to French recognition of the Armenian Genocide as well as the recognition movement throughout the world.

Roustamian concluded by stating that this type of behavior contradicts universal values–the principles of democracy and human rights which were founded by Europe. This kind of attitude does not help in establishing trustful relations among the two countries–nor does it help creating peace and stability in the region.

It should be noted that the Armenian delegation at PACE submitted three documen’s. The first one referred to the discriminatory policies of Azerbaijan toward Armenia’s. The second document dealt with the incident in Khojalou–presenting the truth to what occurred in the town –as opposed to the Azeri version which was circulated previously at a PACE session. The third document refuted Azeri allegations that Armenia’s had been engaged in genocidal policies toward the Azeri people since 1813.

The Azeris had claimed to receive positive feedback at previous PACE sessions–where they had presented documen’s regarding Karabakh and the alleged destruction of Azeri culture by Armenia’s on lands which are under Armenian control. However–the Armenian delegates to PACE said that the Azeri documen’s were not supported as described by the Azeris and the Armenian press.

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