8 November 2004
YEREVAN, November 6 Chairman of the Armenian-French Friendship Group at the National Assembly of France Francois Rochebloin believes that Turkey cannot become a member of the European Union until it admits its responsibility for the genocide against Armenians in 1915 during the Ottoman Empire rule. The French deputy made this statement during a meeting with Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Artur Bagdasaryan.
According to the public relations department of the Armenian National Assembly, Mr. Rochebloin has also emphasized the necessity to lift the Turkish blockade of Armenia because, in his opinion, it affects negatively the economic development of the republic.
Both sides touched upon issues of the strengthening of interparliamentary ties between the two countries, cooperation between delegations of Armenia and France at PACE, and the perspectives of French-Armenian relations.
Armenia and Turkey have not established diplomatic relations, yet. The major obstacle is the refusal of Turkey to recognize the genocide campaign against Armenians in 1915 during the Ottoman Empire rule.
The Armenian community in France is one of the largest in the world. It numbers about 300,000 people. Armenian diasporas popped up in various regions of the world after the 1915 tragedy. Other large Armenian communities are in Russia (according to some estimates - a million people), in the United States (about 600,000 people) and in Iran (about 250,000 people).
Source: RIA Novosti's Gamlet Matevosyan