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IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO BUILD NEW EUROPE WITHOUT REPENTANCE, ARMENIAN PRESIDENT SAYS

YEREVAN, OCTOBER 25, ARMENPRESS: EuroNews Television stationed in French Lyon broadcast yesterday an inclusive interview with Armenian president Robert Kocharian, RFE/RL reported.

In response to a question about Armenia’s intention to join the European Union Kocharian said forging close cooperation with Europe within the frameworks of the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) was more realistic and feasible now. “The place of future Armenia will be decided by the next generation of Armenian politicians,” he said. Kocharian also spoke about Armenian-Russian relations saying Russia was the most powerful country of the region in terms of military strength and economy. “Our close relations with Russia are not an obstacle to building close relations with other nations, especially with the USA, European Union and Iran,” he said.

Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regulation Kocharian said Nagorno-Karabakh exercised its right to self-determination after the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and did it in line with law and in a democratic manner. “I think we have now to think about what we have to do to help Nagorno-Karabakh integrate with the international community,’ Kocharian said.

Commenting on EU intention to start accession talks with Turkey Kocharian stressed that to meet accession criteria Turkey will have to carry out excessive reforms. “But there is a negative moment as for the first time the EU is going to start accession talks with a country that has kept its borders closed with Armenia for more than a decade refusing to acknowledge also black pages of its history,” Kocharian said.

“Without genuine repentance it would be very difficult to build a modern Europe. We can only regret that a resolution of the European Parliament (on recognizing the Armenian genocide) is not mandatory for the European Commission,” Kocharian said.

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