BUSH ADMINISTRATION HOPEFUL OF NO VOTE ON ARMENIA GENOCIDE BILL
Oct 19 2007
Washington (dpa) – US President George W Bush’s administration has
become more hopeful that a congressional resolution condemning the
deaths of more than 1 million Armenians as genocide will not come to
The measure, passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week
despite strong opposition from the Bush administration, has angered
Turkey, a close NATO ally who has warned full passage could badly
damage US-Turkey relations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backed the measure and intended to bring
it to a full House vote, but said Wednesday it "remains to be seen" if
a vote will actually take place following a steady erosion of support.
US State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Pelosi’s remarks
"gives us some reason for hope that perhaps this legislation might not,
in fact, come to the floor."
"We’re going to continue to encourage members to vote against
this resolution when and if it does, in fact, come up for a vote,"
Bush, while acknowledging the tragedy of the deaths of up to 1.5
million Armenians from 1915 to 1923, has warned Congress against
passing the resolution because it could jeopardize the use of Turkey
as a transit for military equipment and supplies into Iraq.
Turkey ordered its ambassador to Washington, Nabi Sensoy, to return
home after the committee vote last week and warned of further steps.
The resolution came as the Bush administration has sought to persuade
Turkey against sending its military into northern Iraq to attack
Kurdish separatists, who have launched attacks in recent weeks on
Turkish soil. Washington fears an incursion could destabilize one
of Iraq’s most secure regions. The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK)
is regarded by the US as a terrorist organization.