YEREVAN, March 7. /ARKA/. Armenia will be able to enjoy advantages of Generalized Scheme of Preferences only after Turkey stops blockading it, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said Thursday in Dublin at a session of European People’s Party.
On January 1, 2014, Armenia reached a new stage of Generalized Scheme of Preferences - GSP+, which allows exporting six varieties of goods from Armenia at zero or downed customs duty.
«We are grateful to the European Union for the decision it made in December 2013 to provide Armenia with an opportunity to benefit from the enhanced,» the presidential press office quoted him as saying.
«Nevertheless, for the successful implementation of the Scheme there is an important issue awaiting solution, which is unmaking of the illegal blockade that the European Union’s Customs Union member Turkey imposed on Armenia. Nowadays, when humankind gets ready to mark the centennial of the World War I and the horror it unleashed, Turkey continues its policy of denial, attempts to bury the memory of more than one million victims of the Armenian Genocide and disregard demands of a nation that was deprived of its homeland, refuses to repent for what had been done and thus pursues a xhenophobic policy that at its roots is aimed at harming Armenia and Armenians.»
Sargsyan also said that a key principle of the European system is not to remain silent «when there is injustice, when there is a bigotry exposed, and especially when we witness manifestation of xenophobia.
“Never again!” has been our motto born out of calamity that two World Wars brought in. But there is only one way to make that motto come true: it is to remember, to condemn and to demand. It is incomprehensible and unacceptable to us, when any manifestations of fascism are being tolerated, when evident hate speech of the President of Azerbaijan, a Council of Europe member State, is pretended to go unnoticed. For the Eastern Partnership to work effectively we should employ straight and honest talk on the issues of reciprocal concern.»
There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. The border between the two countries was closed in 1993 at Ankara’s initiative. Relations between Armenia and Turkey remain tense because of Ankara’s biased stance on Karabakh problem and its painful reaction to Armenia’s efforts to obtain worldwide recognition of the fact of Armenian Genocide.
Thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations began in 2008 on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s initiative. On October 10, Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers signed the protocols on establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and development of bilateral relations. The protocols signed in Zurich had to be ratified by the two countries’ parliaments, but on April 22, 2010, the Armenian president, seeing that Turkey was dragging its feet, signed a decree ceasing the process of ratification. He said Turkey was not ready to continue the process. The process of ratification remains frozen. -0----