Turkish Ambassador Won’t Return To U.S. Just Yet


Washington Post
March 24 2010

Envoy recalled over ‘genocide’ vote stays put

Turkey will not send its ambassador back to Washington until the Obama
administration and Congress make it clear that they will not judge
Turkish history, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday.

The country recalled its envoy, Namik Tan, last month after the
House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a resolution labeling Turkey’s
killings of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as genocide.

"We cannot accept the judgment of members of the foreign relations
committee, who do not know anything about the history," Davutoglu
said in an interview in Ankara.

Davutoglu set two conditions for Tan’s return: The administration
and Congress must show they will refrain from deciding what he called
"our history," and the countries "should agree to develop our strategic
alliance," he said.

As a Muslim NATO member and a close U.S. ally, Turkey is crucial to
efforts to stabilize Afghanistan and develop Iraq. President Obama
visited the country almost a year ago and has broken a campaign
pledge to refer to the 1915 killings as "genocide" so as not to
impede reconciliation talks between Armenia and Turkey, which have
since stalled.

Turkish officials are waiting to see how Obama will phrase a statement
April 24, the anniversary of the start of the massacre.

— Janine Zacharia


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