BBC: US will not adopt ‘genocide’ bill

US will not adopt ‘genocide’ bill

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/03/05 22:35:01 GMT

The Obama administration has said it will seek to block a
controversial bill describing as genocide the World War I killing of
Armenians by Turks.

A congressional panel on Thursday approved the resolution, paving the
way for a possible vote by the House.

But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the administration
would "work very hard" to prevent this.

Turkey voiced strong protests after the vote and recalled its
ambassador from Washington for consultations.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had been accused
of a crime it did not commit, adding the resolution would harm
Turkish-US relations.

President Abdullah Gul said Turkey – a key Nato ally of the US – would
"not be responsible for the negative results that this event may lead

Change of position

Mr Clinton – who had urged the House Foreign Affairs Committee not to
hold the vote – said on Friday: "We are against this decision. Now we
believe that the US Congress will not take any decision on this


Hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians killed by Ottoman Turks in 1915-6
Many historians and the Armenian people believe the killings amount to genocide
Turks and some historians deny they were orchestrated
More than 20 countries regard the massacres as genocide

The resolution – approved by 23 votes to 22 by the committee – calls
on President Barack Obama to ensure that US foreign policy reflects an
understanding of the "genocide" and to label the killings of Armenians
as such.

A similar resolution by approved by the same committee two years ago,
but did not go forward to the House after pressure from the George W
Bush administration.

Turkey is a major partner in US efforts to stabilise Afghanistan and
Iraq, and lies on a key route taking oil and natural gas to Western

Ankara accepts that atrocities were committed but argues they were
part of the war and that there was no systematic attempt to destroy
Christian Armenians.

During his campaign for the 2008 election, Mr Obama promised to brand
the mass killings genocide.

Mrs Clinton has acknowledged his administration’s change of opinion on
the issue, saying circumstances had "changed in very significant

In October last year, Turkey and Armenia signed a historic accord
normalising relations between them after a century of hostility.

Armenia wants Turkey to recognise the killings as an act of genocide,
but successive Turkish governments have refused to do so.

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians died in 1915, when they were
deported en masse from eastern Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire. They
were killed by troops or died from starvation and disease.

Armenians have campaigned for the killings to be recognised
internationally as genocide – and more than 20 countries have done so.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS