Monday, October 8, 2007


White House: Bush Recognizes 1915 Events But Doesn't Rank Them Genocide

Gordon Johndroe, a White House spokesman, said President Bush
"reiterated his opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution,
the passage of which would be harmful to U.S. relations with Turkey."

Johndroe said Bush believes the Armenian episode ranks among the
greatest tragedies of the 20th century, but the determination whether
"the events constitute a genocide should be a matter for historical
inquiry, not legislation."

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by
Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed
by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.

Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide. At the U.S. State
Department, the senior official who deals with Turkish relations said
the United States position is not to deny or accept that genocide
occurred. Nevertheless, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried
said, "We do not believe this bill would advance either the cause of
historical truth or Turkish-Armenian reconciliation or the interests
of the United States."

The Turkish reaction to passage of the bill would be extremely strong,
Fried said. It would do "grave harm" to relations with Turkey, a NATO
ally, and damage the U.S. war effort in Iraq, Turkey's neighbor.

The resolution is largely symbolic and would not be binding on
foreign policy. Similar measures have been offered before and
never passed, but it appears to have a good chance of passage in the
Democratic-controlled House if it is brought to a vote, The Associated
Press reports. - Source: Armtown

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