US Hopes Turkey Will Return Ambassador


Agence France Presse
March 29 2010

The United States on Monday voiced hope that Turkey would return its
ambassador, distancing itself from moves in the US Congress to brand
the World War I massacres of Armenians as genocide.

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
spokesman said in Ankara.

Turkey withdrew its ambassador in early March after a House committee
narrowly approved the resolution calling the mass killings genocide.

"We understand the reasons why Turkey recalled its ambassador," State
Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters. "We hope that the
ambassador will be returned as quickly as Turkey feels comfortable."

After the vote by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Clinton said
that "we do not believe the full Congress will or should act on
that resolution."

"The Turkish side has made its concerns about the House committee
vote known. We’ve also made clear our position on that resolution,"
Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told reporters.

"So we hope that this is the basis to move forward because we have
a lot of business to do together," Steinberg said, pointing to
cooperation in the Balkans and other areas.

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.

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