ANCA Calls on WINEP Executive Director, Robert Satloff, to Explain Why the Institute is Providing a Platform for Those Seeking to Block American Remembrance of Known Case of Genocide
WASHINGTON (Armenian Weekly)—The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) has called on United States President-Elect Donald J. Trump to “guarantee” to Turkey that the Armenian Genocide will not be properly acknowledged by the U.S. Congress, in a recently published set of proposals regarding “U.S. Policy on Turkey.”
“[T]he United States can quietly guarantee Turkey that the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress will not pass. This has always been critical in the relationship, and most Turks care deeply about the issue,” reads a part of the paper authored by former U.S. ambassador to Ankara James F. Jeffrey and Turkish scholar Dr. Soner Cagaptay.
The paper on U.S.-Turkey relations is the first in a series of WINEP presidential transition papers addressing key policy challenges across the Middle East. In it, the two authors argue that the Trump administration should “revamp policy toward Turkey to emphasize a transactional approach to critical bilateral issues.” Among the commodities the group – aligned closely with Jewish Americans organizations devoted to Holocaust remembrance – proposes bartering with Turkey is U.S. commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
A new approach to Turkey, Jeffrey and Cagaptay suggest, would restore focus to each side’s most important interests. “For Turkey, this includes the extradition of reputed coup plotter Fethullah Gulen; increased engagement on issues from Cyprus to Israel; and closer attention to Turkish equities in the Syria conflict. For the United States, a new approach would entail a stronger commitment to fighting the Islamic State; a return to peace talks with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK); closer cooperation on military moves, especially in Syria; and renewed respect for democratic freedoms,” reads a part of a statement released by the Washington Institute about its first “Transition 2017” paper.
“For any relationship with [Turkish president] Erdogan to succeed,” argue Jeffrey and Cagaptay, “it will have to be based on mutual interests and trade-offs rather than deep friendship and shared values.”
Established in 1985, WINEP’s mission is “to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them,” according to the Institute’s website.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) reacted to the news of the publication via social media and other channels. “Why is [the Washington Institute] providing a platform for calls to block remembrance of a known case of genocide?” asked the ANCA in a tweet to Washington Institute Executive Director Robert Satloff.
The Armenian Weekly reached out to authors James Jeffrey and Soner Cagaptay at the Washington Institute for comments, but both were unavailable.