The FINANCIAL, Georgia
March 5 2010
Turkey condemns Armenian genocide bill, recalls ambassador to U.S.
05/03/2010 11:49 (11:23 minutes ago)
The FINANCIAL — Turkey has recalled its ambassador to the United
States shortly after a U.S. congressional panel supported a bill
recognizing mass killings of Armenians by Turkish troops in the
beginning of the 20th century as an act of genocide, according to RIA
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives
approved on March 4 a non-binding resolution recognizing the genocide
of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
"We condemn this bill that blames the Turkish nation for a crime it
did not commit. Our Washington ambassador was invited to Ankara
tonight for consultations," Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan
said in a statement posted on his office’s website.
The resolution, which has already become a diplomatic flashpoint
between Washington and Ankara, has not been finally adopted and will
now go before the full House, although no date has been set for the
Turkey, which has always refused to recognize the killings of an
estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman period in
1915 as an act of genocide, earlier warned Washington that this move
could jeopardize U.S-Turkish cooperation and set back the talks aimed
at opening the border between Turkey and Armenia.
Turkey and Armenia signed protocols on establishing diplomatic
relations and on developing bilateral relations last October. They are
yet to be approved by their parliaments.
The Armenian-Turkish border has been closed since 1993 on Ankara’s
initiative. Bilateral relations are complicated over the genocide
issue as well as by Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan’s position in the
Nagorny Karabakh problem.
A number of states have recognized the killings in Armenia as the
first genocide of the 20th century, including Russia, France, Italy,
Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Greece, as well as 42 of the 50
U.S. states. The Vatican, the European Parliament and the World
Council of Churches have also denounced the killings as genocide.
Uruguay was the first to do so in 1965.