Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-03-25-Speech-3-348"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for today’s debate. It has taken us much further down the line. I should like to thank all my honourable friends who worked on this issue with me over recent months. One core statement by the Council, my dear Mr Vondra, has particularly stuck in my mind: the people of Turkmenistan will certainly not learn what democracy and human rights mean from China, Russia or even Iran. Over recent years Parliament has laid down clear conditions under which we can agree to this Interim Agreement, most recently in the Central Asia strategy report by Mr Özdemir. It would be a huge concession by the European Parliament, if we now basically ignored the specifications which we set about three months or six months ago and said that, nonetheless, we approve my report on the Interim Agreement. On the other hand, it is also clear to me that we are talking about the Interim Agreement today. It would not have been a good idea to postpone the vote. I am also clear about the fact that we should not use Turkmenistan and the Interim Agreement as a hostage in order to shift the balance of power between the European institutions. I am also clear about the fact that it would set a precedent if the Commission and the Council were to agree to the demands which many of us have made today, even – and I say this quite clearly – though, in my opinion, these demands by Parliament are totally justified. I therefore await – preferably this evening – an undertaking from the Commission that, if this monitoring shows that the situation in Turkmenistan has deteriorated and if Parliament passes a resolution asking the Commission to propose to the Council that this Interim Agreement be suspended, it will table a proposal to that effect before the Council. I think that this should be possible within the framework of the current agreements. I would be delighted if we were, in any case, to receive an undertaking from the Council that it would immediately include and discuss this issue at one of its forthcoming meetings at the Commission’s proposal. Both institutions can certainly give these two undertakings without addressing the overall arrangement of institutional cooperation within the European Union. I would be grateful if you could make this statement today or, at the very latest, before the vote tomorrow. I have no interest in having to recommend to my honourable friends before the vote tomorrow that the vote on my report be postponed."@en1

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