White House Avoids Genocide Issue Ahead of Turkey Trip

PARIS (The White House)–Ahead of President Barack Obama’s trip to Turkey, at a news briefing Friday aboard Air Force One en route to France, the White House spokesperson avoided discussing the Armenian Genocide when asked by a reporter to comment on the matter.

Responding to a reporter’s query on whether “the President still believe[s] that the Turks committed genocide against the Armenia’s,” White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, said: “We’ll get into that I think later on.”

When pressed to comment further, Gibbs said: “I’ll leave that for–I can’t give away everything in one gaggle, for goodness sakes.”

Gibbs explained the trip to Turkey aimed to strengthen an important relationship.

“I mean, again, I think it’s to strengthen an important relationship and reach out to–and demonstrate the importance of–their importance in our relationship and, again, issues that we have in common that we want to work on. I mean, look, I think it’s an opportunity to probably go also to a country that people may not have expected us to visit on our first trip over here, and I think it’s an important signal for the President,” explained Gibb.

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