Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Dec. 17 to urge officials to block the House of Representatives vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, saying doing otherwise would jeopardize U.S.-Turkish ties. According to Turkish sources, Clinton said her administration had not changed its position on the matter and that “she would exert all possible effort.”
Davutoglu told journalists, “I asked for an effective interference at Congress because this issue may carry the possibility of influencing the future and nature of Turkish-U.S. relations. Everybody should act with responsibility on this issue. Bringing historical issues to the agenda over and over, and swinging those issues over the head of Turkish-U.S. relations like the sword of Damocles, is not appropriate.”
Similarly, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to prevent the vote by the House.
On December 17, State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley said the Obama Administration strongly opposes the resolution. “We are aware of a potential House Resolution 252, and we strongly oppose that resolution. We continue to believe that the best way for Turkey and Armenia to address their shared past is through their efforts to normalize relations.”
Both the Turkish Embassy and Turkish diaspora groups have launched a campaign to block the passage of the resolution by contacting senior U.S. officials and Congressmen.
Turkey has long threatened that its ties with the U.S. would suffer if a resolution were passed. In March, Turkey recalled its ambassador after the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted in favor of it. Turkey has continued to deny that its policies of deportation and mass murder of the Armenians amounted to genocide.