ISTANBUL (Combined Sources)–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has assured Turkey that the White House still opposes a congressional resolution reaffirming the US record on the World War 1 Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday.
The ministry issued the statement after a telephone call between Clinton and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu 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 recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The full House of Representatives is due to consider the resolution, although it was unclear whether it would go to a vote or had enough support to pass.
“Secretary Clinton emphasized that the U.S. administration opposes both the decision accepted by the committee and the decision reaching the general assembly,” the statement said.
Turkey wants to be sure that Obama will not use the term genocide in an address scheduled for April 24, and has halted high profile visits by officials.
Davutoglu told Clinton the congressional committee’s resolution had negatively affected efforts to improved stability in the South Caucasus.
Clinton said U.S. officials hoped Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would attend a summit in Washington next month on nuclear disarmament, the foreign ministry statement said.
Davutoglu said Erdogan would decide in the next few days whether to attend the meeting on April 13 and 14. More than 40 world leaders are expected at the summit.
“The evaluation process on this subject is still continuing and Prime Minister Erdogan will make his final decision on this matter in the coming days,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Burak Ozugergin was quoted by Hurriyet as saying.
Citing unnamed Turkish officials, Hurriyet said that if Erdogan decided to attend the Washington summit he would do so with Davutoglu at his side. The anonymous official also said that there could be a possible meeting with members of the Armenian diaspora and Erdogan.
Turkey has offered to use its close ties with Iran in Tehran’s dispute with the West over its nuclear program, but has indicated it may not support a fourth round of U.N. sanctions being prepared by the United States and other Western powers.
More than 20 countries recognize the Genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago. Turkey vehemently denies the genocide.