Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Says Armenia Hampering Bi-Lateral Relations
WASHINGTON—A week after the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution was introduced in Congress, a coterie of top-level Turkish leaders are eying the nation’s capital in hopes of dissuading lawmakers from advancing the bill to a vote.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit Washington before April 24, said ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
Meanwhile Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek was in Washington Tuesday where he blamed Armenia for hampering Turkey-Armenia relations during a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
During his speech, titled “Turkey-U.S. Relations in the 21st Century,” Çiçek said while Turkey is “approaching Armenia with candidness in an effort to resolve the 1915 incidents,” Yerevan focuses on the events to hamper the normalization process between the two countries, reported the Anadolou News Agency.
“We see that Armenia chooses to focus on intensifying its anti-Turkey events organized within the concept of the centenary of the 1915 incidents, rather than carrying the normalization process further on the path towards April 24. This is despite all the well-intentioned initiatives coming from our country,” said Çiçek.
He said there was “no change” in Turkey’s stance toward normalizing relations with Armenia, adding there was still hope for it to improve.
“The condolences messages and statements about these issues by our president and prime minister are important steps taken in this way,” Çiçek said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s now infamous message issued in April 2014.
“We want the exploitation [of the Armenian Genocide issue] to be removed and for peace to be supported by enlightening historical facts. We are ready to give support to any kind of research,” he added.
However, in his remarks, Çiçek neglected to mention that Turkey has pre-conditioned the signing of the Turkey-Armenia Protocols on a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that is beneficial to Azerbaijan.
The Armenian National Committee of America on Tuesday reported that a broad spectrum of veteran and freshmen House Members are adding their voices to the global call for truth and justice, as support for passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.154) continues to grow.
Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), along with 40 other Members of the House of Representatives on March 18 introduced the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution. This bipartisan resolution calls upon the President to work toward equitable, constructive, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey’s full acknowledgement of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide. The resolution will also establish a fair, just, and comprehensive international record of this crime against humanity.
“We strongly support this new bipartisan approach to promoting regional peace, protecting Armenia, and preventing future atrocities,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian at the time of the bill’s introduction
“This innovative, justice-based initiative builds upon the U.S. record of past Armenian Genocide recognition by calling for a new U.S. policy – one that reflects our American values and also recognizes that our national interests will be served by Turkey ending its obstruction of a truthful and just international resolution of this crime,” added Hamparian.