TURKEY PRESSES US TO STOP ‘GENOCIDE’ RESOLUTION
March 29 2010
AFP – Turkey has urged the United States to block a bill branding
the World War I massacres of Armenians as genocide, saying this was
"critical" to their relationship, the foreign ministry said on Monday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pressed his US counterpart
Hillary Clinton in a telephone call Sunday to stop the resolution from
advancing to a full vote at the House of Representatives, a ministry
Davutoglu said that blocking the resolution would be "of critical
importance to eliminate the negative impact it has had" on Turkish-US
ties and on peace efforts between Turkey and Armenia, spokesman Burak
The US House’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved the resolution by a
tiny margin in early March, prompting an infuriated Ankara to recall
its ambassador from Washington.
The non-binding text calls on President Barack Obama to ensure that
US foreign policy reflects an understanding of the "genocide" and to
label the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as such
in his annual statement on the issue.
Clinton has urged the committee not to hold the vote for fear it
might harm ties with Turkey, which is a prominent Muslim ally, and
She said after its approval that "we do not believe the full Congress
will or should act on that resolution."
The ministry spokesman said Clinton told Davutoglu she would like
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit Washington on
April 12-13 for a nuclear security summit.
His attendance had been thrown in doubt by the row over the Armenian
Davutoglu had responded that "the evaluation process on the issue is
continuing," the spokesman said.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin perished in orchestrated
killings and deportations under the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1917.
Turkey counters that 300,000 to 500,000 Armenians and at least as
many Turks perished in what was a civil strife when Armenians rose up
against their Ottoman rulers and sided with Russian forces invading
the crumbling empire.
Photo 1: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members
of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on March 2. Turkey
has urged the United States to block a bill branding the World War
I massacres of Armenians as genocide, saying this was "critical"
to their relationship
Photo 2: Picture taken in 1915 shows Turkish soldiers standing in front
of executed Armenians in Alep. Turkey has urged the United States
to block a bill branding the World War I massacres of Armenians as
genocide, saying this was "critical" to their relationship.
Photo 3: Turkey has furiously recalled its ambassador after US
lawmakers voted to brand as "genocide" the killing of Armenians by
Ottoman forces during World War I. Despite strong opposition from
Turkey and the White House, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed
the symbolic resolution on Thursday and set the stage for a full vote
in the House of Representatives. Duration: 00:51