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CRAG E-Alert - 4 january 2005

Dear Friends & Supporters:

Despite the seasonal holidays, closed offices, absent colleagues and Armenian Theophany celebrations on 6th January, CRAG would like to provide you with the following quick updates.

*** Dutch Parliament Recognises the Armenian Genocide ***

Hereunder is the press release from the FEDERATION OF ARMENIAN ORGANISATIONS IN THE NETHERLANDS (FAON)

24 April Committee, Weesperstraat 91, NL - 2574 VS The Hague
E-mail: april24committee@wanadoo.nl Website: l24aprilcomite.ontheweb.nl

The Netherlands recognises Armenian Genocide

The Hague, 21 December 2004 - The Armenian Federation announces with satisfaction that today the Dutch Parliament has adopted unanimously a motion concerning the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian community of The Netherlands has been insisting at the Dutch Parliament and the government on recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 for many years. Especially last year, in the run-up to and during the Dutch presidency of EU, the 24 April Committee of the Armenian Federation has persistently campaigned to bring the Armenian question under the attention of the Members of Parliament and the Dutch public.

The motion was introduced during the debate on the outcome of the European Summit of last Friday in connection with the start of accession negotiations with Turkey. In that debate nearly all fractions asked the government about the absence of the Armenian Genocide issue in the Presidency conclusions. This in spite of commitment by among others France and the European Parliament and also by Dutch Foreign Minister Bot himself, who ensured the Dutch Parliament that the Armenian question has always been brought up at the meetings with the Turkish colleagues. The majority of the Parliament Members had asked to pay attention to this point.

In the motion adopted by the Parliament the government is asked "to bring up the recognition of the Armenian Genocide continuously and expressly in the dialogue with Turkey".

This motion has been introduced by the Chairman of Christian Union fraction Mr. Rouvoet and supported by all other political parties in the Parliament.

*** Armenians Protest against Turkey's Entry ***

The following ANSA news despatch refers to the gathering in Brussels on 17 December 2004 where the EU Council met to discuss Turkey's application to enter the EU.

You can access EU: ARMENIANS PROTEST AGAINST TURKEY'S ENTRY by logging on: www.armeniandiaspora.com/archive/17004.html

*** Armenia's FM Vartan Oskanyan on the Armenian Genocide ***

The following despatch refers to the possibility of bringing the Armenian Genocide to the UN.

It links in with the reports that US Ambassador Danforth wrote a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking that the General Assembly convene a special session on 24 January 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

The question today is: why not also for the Armenian Genocide?

Some agencies reported that the Armenian Foreign Minister said in a television interview on 24 December 2004 that Armenia is to take its claims that the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against its Armenian citizens to the United Nations.

FM Oskanyan added that Yerevan would bring the Armenian Genocide issue before the United Nations in 2005. He said that the issue of the Armenian Genocide was an international matter that extended beyond Armenia and that it had been raised during Turkey's European Union progress talks.

*** Faith in Europe: Turkey, the EU & Religion ***

An article in the Economist of 16 December 2004 focused on the above title and made some salient points in its arguments.

You can read the full article (if you do not have a hard copy of the magazine) by logging on: www.armeniandiaspora.com/archive/17005.html

*** Badaraks at Sts Sarkis & Yeghiche ***

For all Armenians who would wish to celebrate Armenian Theophany at St Sarkis or St Yeghiche Churches:

ST YEGHICHE CHURCH Cranley Gardens, London SW7 3BB
5-Jan-05 - Christmas Eve Badarak at 5.30pm
6-Jan-05 - Christmas Badarak & Blessing of Water at 11am

ST SARKIS CHURCH Iverna Gardens, Kensington, W8 6TP
5-Jan-05 - Christmas Eve Badarak at 5.30pm
6-Jan-05 - Christmas Badarak & Blessing of Water at 11am

As CRAG has been stressing recently, and as the 2005 Church calendar (being distributed currently) underlines also, this year is the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

As the CRAG 90th Anniversary Committee gears itself toward the challenge of commemoration in the UK during the course of the whole year, we solicit yourcontinued support in the new year as we wish you all a blessed and joyous Christmas.

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