VoA: US House Panel To Vote On Armenia Genocide Resolution

By VOA News

Voice of America
Oct 10 2007

A U.S. House of Representatives committee is set to vote Wednesday on
a resolution to declare the early 20th century massacre of Armenians
under the Ottoman Empire genocide.

President Bush is urging lawmakers to oppose the bill, saying everyone
regrets what he called "the historic mass killings of Armenians." But
he said the resolution will do great harm to relations with Turkey,
a key ally in NATO and anti-terrorism efforts.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates pointed out that Turkey is a major
passageway for U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The office of Turkish President Abdullah Gul says Mr. Gul wrote to
the U.S. president saying the bill, if adopted, would create problems
in bilateral relations.

Turkish diplomats in Washington have been lobbying furiously against
the bill’s passage.

Armenia accuses the Ottoman Turks of killing 1.5 million Armenians
from 1915 to 1923 in systematic deportations and killings in a push
to drive them out of eastern Turkey. Turkey strongly rejects the
charge of genocide. It calls the death toll exaggerated, and says a
large number of people died in civil unrest during the collapse of
the Ottoman Empire.

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