Europe-Armenia Advisory Council member MEP Frank Engel interviewed by Armenian media

On Friday 18 March, ArmInfo and PanArmenian published interviews with EuFoA’s Europe-Armenia Advisory Council member, MEP Frank Engel, in which he discusses the Armenia-Turkey rapprochement and explains why the process is being hampered.

 

Below we provide you with the interviews. Other Armenian media, including Armtown and Time.am, reprinted the interviews.

 

Member of Europe-Armenia Advisory Council: Azerbaijan hampers Turkey’s joining European Union

(Source: http://www.arminfo.info/popup.php?archive=file_20100318_171000_eng_20536.html)

 

/Arminfo/ — 2010/03/18 — It is very much important for Azerbaijan to occupy constructive position in the matter of normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia, member of the European Parliament Frank Engel.

 

He also added that Azerbaijan would have to recognize that it is actually hampering Turkish EU accession prospects by insisting that the Karabagh issue has to be part and parcel of any possible normalisation of relations between Turkey and Armenia. Of course, Turkish and Azerbaijani interests overlap in a very significant way, but then again, Turkey is now compelled to make a move on its own that Azerbaijan will not be in agreement with, he said.

 

 

Europarliament member: EU should resort to drastic measures with respect to Turkey to guarantee normalization of its relations with Armenia

(Source: http://www.arminfo.info/popup.php?archive=file_20100318_170900_eng_20535.html)

 

/Arminfo/ — 2010/03/18 – The European Union should resort to more drastic measures with respect to Turkey for the latter to normalize relations with Armenia without delay, European Parliament member, member of the European-Armenian Advisory Council Frank Engel said to ArmInfo.

 

He said this is just the main hitch, as EU cannot be guided by uncertainty in the issues of establishment of normal diplomatic and good neighbourly relations with Armenia and Cyprus. According to him, they must clarify the fact that the process of negotiations in EU may be affected if the process of normalization of relations with Armenia does not advance with high rates. He added that any diplomatic initiative is preferable, including a persistent call to Turkey at the top level for Ankara to adhere to the targeted policy. As he said, it is necessary to harden the rhetoric and actions and added that it is impossible to imagine for any existing EU member-state could join the Union having no normal relations with its neighbours, though some of them are still strained relations with each other.

Frank Engel: it is not Armenia that keeps the border closed

(Source: http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=44469)

 

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ If Turkey is serious about normalizing formal relations – opening the border, re-establish diplomatic relations – I don’t see how this process would not be significantly beneficial to both countries, and their peoples, according to Frank Engel, a member of the Europe-Armenia Advisory Council.

 

“There are encouraging signs that relations between Turks and Armenians don’t have to remain strained forever. The existing transport links, the presence of a sizeable Armenian community in Turkey, for instance, tell me that ordinary Turks and Armenians essentially aspire to normal relations. However, with borders closed and no diplomatic missions, this aspiration is rather difficult to fulfill. The more extreme populist stances on both sides don’t help either. Parts of the Armenian diaspora should start by recognizing this,” he told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

Asked whether an Turkey open the border this year, Mr. Engel said, “Of course it can. This is not a matter of feasibility, but of willingness to do it. Of course, potent internal Turkish interests still oppose this move, and as I said, extremist Armenian views are not helpful at all on the other side. The question is if Turkey wants to break the deadlock through a powerful gesture. It is not Armenia that keeps the border closed.”

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