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United States resolution on Armenian genocide

07. March 2010. | 09:54 10:03

Source: EMportal

Although Obama administration objects to the resolution, Turkey's president described the resolution as offense to history. Immediately the Ankara government withdrew its ambassador to Washington

Congressional committee vote passing resolution condemning Turkey for Armenian genocide puts at risk relations between the United States and Turkey.

Although Obama administration objects to the resolution, Turkey's president described the resolution as offense to history. Immediately the Ankara government withdrew its ambassador to Washington

"God condemns American imperialism. We did not commit genocide, we defended our land"

Following Turkey's reaction, the US administration, which regards Turkey as an important ally, Is seeking to defuse the row. It expressed its frustration with the House of Representatives' foreign affairs committee, which voted 23-22 yesterday in favour of a resolution labelling the 1915 massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians a "genocide".

The administration of president Barack Obama strongly objects to the resolution passed by only one vote by the Foreign Affaisr Committee and I will work hard to stop the resolution going to the floor of the House for a confirmation debate and vote said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Guatemala where she is paying an official visit.

Hillary Clinton had urged the House committee not to vote, saying that it would damage reconciliation efforts between Turkey and Armenia. "We do not believe that the full Congress will or should act upon that resolution, and we have made that clear to all the parties involved," Clinton advised lawmakers.

Turkish Prime-minister Tayip Erdogan went on to warn that "Turkey will not be responsible for the negative results that this event may lead to," saying that Washington's decision will "harm Turkey-U.S. ties" and could derail talks aimed at opening the border between Turkey and Armenia.

Immediately after the vote, Ankara recalled its ambassador from Washington, condemning the US Committee's decision and warned the U.S. government of lasting diplomatic consequences.

Armenians, an estimated 6 million of whom have emigrated and have well-organized lobbies in their new homes, maintain that 1.5 million of their relatives were purposefully killed by Turkish troops in what amounted to the 20th century's first genocide.Turkey admits that many Armenians died, but denies it was a genocide. It says the number has been inflated and that most of the people died of disease and famine in the chaos and civil war of the time.

Turkey is an important NATO ally of the U.S. and Western Europe. Washington has also come to rely on Turkish support in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 the Bush administration lobbied forcefully to stop a similar resolution reaching the floor of the house.

The issue has sparked tension in Turkey's relations with EU member states, particularly France


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