After last year’s European elections Sajjad was appointed chair of the European Parliament’s (EP) Delegation to the EP/Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee.
Following a visit to Armenia by the Committee last month, Sajjad has welcomed the European Parliament’s adoption of a Joint Resolution on the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide at its plenary session in Brussels this week.
During the debate MEPs paid tribute to the memory of the 1.5 million innocent Armenian victims who perished between 1915 and 1917. These tragic events took place whilst Armenia was part of the then Ottoman Empire, now the Republic of Turkey. Armenian civilians were systematically massacred by Ottoman troops. The European Parliament reiterated its formal position, originally adopted in 1987, that genocide did in fact take place, as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948.
This resolution statement, in particular, had strongly hoped that the legacy of the past could be overcome by the normalisation of Turkey – Armenia relations, without any preconditions.
The European Parliament’s Plenary, in turn, encourages both countries to focus on an agenda that puts cooperation between both their people first, believing this will contribute to historical reconciliation.
As Chair of the Committee, Sajjad said:
“While it is legitimate for the European Parliament to be taking a particular viewpoint on the issue, we also want to encourage both Turkey and Armenia to move in a direction which allows them to come to terms with this particular aspect of their shared history, and to start to take steps towards much closer, neighbourly relations.”