Border between Armenia and Turkey

Border between Armenia and Turkey

Armenians suffered the first Holocaust of the 20th century when they were essentially eliminated by the Ottoman Empire and the region of Nagorno-Karabakh was split off from Armenia, through the Stalinist action of the totalitarian USSR, a fact that led to the conflict with Azerbaijan, which Turkey cites as a reason for not opening its border with Armenia.

  1. The European Parliament’s resolutions call for the comprehensive opening of the border between Turkey and Armenia.
  2. Armenia is a land-locked State.
  3. This stance by Turkey infringes the 1965 New York Convention on Transit Trade of Land-locked States, which was signed by Turkey and Armenia.
  4. Turkey is in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  5. Armenia is suffering enormous economic damage as a result of this exclusion.

Finally, historically and geo-strategically Armenia has suffered both direct and indirect destructive pressure from Turkey and, despite all the above, persists in acting within the democratic framework and cooperating very well with the European Union.

On 30 July 2020, Greek Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Emmanouil Fragkos of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, addressed a written parliamentary question to the European Commission. MEP Fragkos asked the Commission “has the Commission raised the issue bilaterally with Turkey?” and “does it intend to put pressure on the Turkish Government concerning the opening of its border with Armenia and, if so, what meaningful actions will it take?”

On 26 November, High Representative and Vice-President Borrell formally responded on behalf of the European Commission. He declared that “the European Union (EU) remains committed to the normalisation of relations between Turkey and Armenia” and “in its political dialogues with Turkey and Armenia, the EU encourages both sides to continue to engage in this process without preconditions”.

High Representative and Vice-President Borrell further stated that “reconciliation is a core foundation of the European project and its underlying values” and “it is essential that, in a spirit of reconciliation, countries are able to face their past through open and frank debates”.

High Representative and Vice-President Borrell clarified that “the EU encourages further, meaningful steps paving the way towards full reconciliation between Turkish and Armenian civil societies” and “a concrete EU project titled ‘Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process’ will continue to promote confidence and people-to-people contacts between Armenia and Turkey”. He added also that “this project has already demonstrated a positive contribution to this process through bringing together people on common projects benefitting their communities in the two countries, such as exchange of local entrepreneurs, historians and architects, cross-border cooperation of teachers, Meeting of Cities, or a Cinema Platform aimed to encourage common film productions”.

“As highlighted in a number of recent statements by the High Representative/Vice-President, the EU remains ready to support the parties and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in a long-term solution to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh” concluded High Representative and Vice-President Borrell. 

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