Monday, March 29, 2010

Turkey / United States / Armenian Genocide

Clinton Makes Pledge on Genocide Resolution: Turkey
Reuters dispatch on Yahoo! News, March 29, 2010
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has assured Turkey that the White House opposes a congressional resolution labeling the World War One massacres of Armenians in Turkey as genocide, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The ministry issued the statement after a telephone call between Clinton and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday. The United States is keen to smooth over relations with Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member, and a key ally in trouble spots from Afghanistan to the Middle East. Turkey recalled its ambassador in Washington after a U.S. House of Representatives committee approved a non-binding resolution on March 4 calling on President Barack Obama to refer to the killings of as many as 1.5 million Armenians almost a century ago as genocide. It is unclear whether the resolution will go to a vote of the full House of Representatives -- or whether it could pass. ... More than 20 countries recognize the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago as genocide. Turkey argues that both Turks and Armenians were killed during the chaos of war and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey now wants to be sure that Obama will not use the term genocide in an address scheduled for April 24, underscoring its concerns with a halt on high-profile visits by its officials. Davutoglu told Clinton the congressional committee's resolution had hurt efforts to improve stability in the South Caucasus. While Turkey and Armenia are trying to normalize relations and open their shared border, progress is complicated by hostility between Armenia and Turkey's fellow-Muslim ally, Azerbaijan. [...]"

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