Turkey Must Shed Its Genocide Burden Says EU?s Gharton

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Speaking at a roundtable discussion on Wednesday–European Parliament (EP) member Per Gharton said that Turkey must take responsibility for the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

"Turkey should get rid of that burden. This year–the European Union reaffirmed its decision recognizing the Genocide–and calls on Turkey to do the same," Gharton said during the roundtable "Wider Europe: New Neighborhood: What are Armenia’s Expectations?"

He said that it is senseless for Turkey to deny the Genocide–pointing to the decision of Istanbul courts immediately after the Genocide to sentence to death the perpetrators and Turkish officials responsible. "Where would Germany be now hadn’t it admitted the Holocaust against the Jews," he asked.

He stressed that though Turkey "improves," it fails to meet EU’s deman’s "to recognize the Armenian Genocide and to cease its blockade against Armenia to become an EU member."

He said that the EU will not accept a state with local or regional conflicts. "Cyprus was a bad precedent and we won’t make the same mistake again," Gharton said.

He said that while Armenia is Europeanized politically and is a member of the Council of Europe–it must still tackle issues tied to democracy–the environment–and settlement of confrontations.

Also attending the conference was National Assembly Vice-speaker Tigran Torosian–who noted that Armenian authorities are determined to integrate into Europe. "Armenia has no alternative," he stated.

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