ANKARA: Ex-Congressman Expects Less Pressure For Armenian Bill



Dec 14 2010

Former member of the United States Congress Jim Kolbe said Monday
pressure to pass a resolution recognizing Armenian claims of genocide
is currently insufficient, given the recently increased number of
Republicans sitting in the Congress.

“There will be change in the tone [of the Congress]. The Republicans
are much more supportive of relations with Turkey,” Kolbe said at
a round table discussion organized by Istanbul Policy Center at
Sabancı University.

Last November’s midterm elections shifted the balance of power in
the United States Congress diametrically. Aided by the extremely
conservative Tea Party Movement, the Republicans gained control of
the House of Representatives and increased their ranks in the Senate.

The replacement of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whose
constituency included a large Armenian community, is another reason for
the expected drop in pressure for an Armenian resolution, argued Kolbe.

Although many Republicans are angry about the deterioration in Turkish
– Israeli relations, foreign policy hawks see Turkey as a strategic
ally. “No doubt the Republicans are angry but they are trying to put
it to the back,” he said.

When the party of the U.S. president looses a mid-term election, it
generally tends to focus on issues its members feel strongly about,
according to Kolbe, who predicted that President Barack Obama would
begin focusing more on foreign policy issues.

From: A. Papazian

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