ANKARA (Hurriyet)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to exercise “common sense” in dealing with the Armenian Genocide Resolution slated for a vote in the US House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday.
Erdogan’s remarks, made during a Justice and Development Party (AKP) meeting, come as part of the latest in a growing wave of threats and warnings emanating from Turkey on the issue.
“I hope the House of Representatives will act with common sense in the face of such an issue that should be left to historians. I hope that cooperation will not be harmed by such initiatives,” Erdogan said. “I trust the leadership and common sense of [President Barack] Obama, who is closely following the ongoing normalization efforts with Armenia.”
The prime minister said he had comprehensively taken up the issue during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Qatar recently.
“I separately discussed with her what would be the cost of an adverse result from that. I am calling on everyone once more to act with common sense,” said Erdogan. “I’d like to say it would be more accurate to research genocide claims not at the House of Representatives but at universities and archives.”
Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee, announced in early February that his panel would vote on the resolution this Thursday.
If the bill passes committee, it will proceed to a final vote on the House floor. Similar resolutions passed the committee in 2000, 2005 and 2007, but never reached a floor vote because of extensive pressure from the Turkish lobby and its supporters.
The non-binding resolution, calls on President Barack Obama to “accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide.”
Turkey has threatened that any House or Senate adoption of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide would lead to a major and lasting deterioration in relations with the United States.