Chairman of the legal Committee of the U.S. Senate Lindsey Graham has blocked consideration of a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, after a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This legislator said at a meeting of the Senate, the broadcast which was conducted by the American news broadcaster. His words leads TASS.
“Senators should not embellish the story or try to rewrite it”, – he explained his decision, saying that the meeting with Erdogan and U.S. President Donald trump discussed with them the problems of Syria and military intervention by Turkey. “I hope that Turkey and Armenia will be able to unite and solve this problem,” said Graham. He added that he opposed the resolution “not because of the past and for the future.”
According to accepted in the upper house of Congress rules, any Senator may request the consent consideration and adoption of the bill or resolution and to block the legislative initiative. Previously senior Democrat of the foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate Robert Menendez asked consent to consider and adopt a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. According to him, the initiative would provide “official recognition” of the Armenian genocide in the United States.
“The foreign policy of the United States should conscientiously consider human rights violations, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. We can’t turn away from the Armenian victims of genocide,” said the Democrat.For the initiative voted 405 congressmen, 11 voted against it.
Erdogan had earlier denounced the decision of the house of representatives of the U.S. Congress to recognize the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, reported “Interfax . He said that to judge the wartime events 104-year-old needs historians, not politicians, and stressed that the two anti-Turkish resolution, adopted on 29 October by the House of representatives of the U.S. Congress, cast a shadow on Turkish-American relations and cause resentment among the Turkish people.
Resolution of the house of representatives and the Senate, which are taken separately in each house of Congress, have no legal force and are Advisory in nature. Thus legislators to Express their position on a particular issue, and the Executive branch the right to ignore such documents.
In the late XIX – early XX century in the Ottoman Empire carried out the persecution of Armenians, which reached its peak in 1915. Then it was destroyed more than 1.5 million Armenians. Armenia calls the events genocide. The day of memory of victims of the Armenian genocide marked on April 24: on this day in Istanbul 100 years ago, was detained and killed more than 800 representatives of the local intellectuals of Armenian origin.
The fact of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey is recognized by many States, by the European Parliament and the world Council of churches. Meanwhile, Turkey has traditionally rejected the accusations, claiming that the victims of the 1915 tragedy was both Armenians and Turks. Ankara is extremely sensitive to criticism from the West on this issue.
So, in 2015, Turkey has recalled its Ambassador to Vienna after Austrian Parliament adopted a Declaration condemning the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Prior to this, Turkey recalled its Ambassador from the Vatican after Pope Francis used the word “genocide” speaking about the mass killings of Armenians.
In 2016, Turkey recalled its Ambassador in Berlin to protest against the fact that the lower house of the German Parliament (Bundestag) “the overwhelming majority” recognized the Armenian genocide. In Ankara, the decision called a “historic mistake.” The state Duma adopted in 1995, the resolution “On condemnation of the Armenian genocide 1915-1922 years in its historic homeland – in Western Armenia.”
At the same time, some countries refuse to recognize the Armenian genocide for fear of worsening relations with Ankara. So, the Israeli Knesset on 14 February rejected a bill on recognition of the Armenian genocide. Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely said that Yerevan had sent a parliamentary delegation to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015, but the country will not take a formal position on this issue because of its complexity and diplomatic consequences, as well as a pronounced political nature.