1148) Prime Minister: Threatening about Genocide is Alarming

Reformatorisch Dagblad (Dutch daily newspaper)
11 october 2006
From political editor

The Hague – According to Dutch Prime Minister Mr. Balkenende it is "very worrisome" that people in and outside Turkey are being threatened or prosecuted, if they recognise the Armenian Genocide.

The Prime Minister said so Tuesday answering VVD Member of Parliament van Baalen in a parliamentary EU debate about “the State of the Union”. Van Baalen wants that the Dutch government demands Turkey, that Dutch citizens of Turkish origin, who speak out about the Genocide, get off free, "If that will not be the case, we take a gloomy view of the negotiations with Turkey in the next ten to fifteen years”.

Answering the Christian Union Faction leader Rouvoet the Prime Minister said, he is still bringing the Rouvoet Motion into practice. This Motion of December 2004 called upon the government, to “continuously and explicitly raise the recognition of the Armenian Genocide". Turkey “should be honest about her past and come to terms with it”, Balkenende argued.

The negotiations with Turkey for accession are a classical example of how it should not be done, van der Staaij of SGP said. His colleague Rouvoet wondered how it is possible that Turkey still can have the EU negotiations so much her own way. To the opinion of the parliament the negotiation negotiations have to stop if Turkey does not allow Cypriot ships and airplanes.

The Minister said that countries that want to become a EU member, from now on will have to meet all criteria. Only then a date can be set for the actual accession. “Not the moment should be crucial, but the quality and endurance", said Bot. That way citizens will keep faith in de enlargement of the EU.


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