GeriGündem Pro-Armenian lawmaker says U.S. Congress will not recognize bill
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Pro-Armenian lawmaker says U.S. Congress will not recognize bill

Pro-Armenian lawmaker says U.S. Congress will not recognize bill
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ISTANBUL - A pro-Armenian U.S. lawmaker said Thursday that Congress is not likely to pass a bill recognizing the Armenian claims regarding the 1915 incidents in a bid to sooth Turkey's concerns.

The resolution would not pass this year again, although there are high expectations this time as U.S. President Obama has promised to recognize the Armenian claims during election campaign, Republican congressman Mark Kirk, one of the four authors of the bill presented to the House of Representatives, told Turkey's Aksam daily.  

"The expectations are high this year, because President Obama gave an important promise to Armenians. But I think the situation is desperate," he said.

"Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi will not dare pass the bill. She will not place Obama in a difficult position. The bill will not pass, don’t worry," he added.

U.S. lawmakers introduced last month a resolution recognizing the Armenian claims regarding the 1915 incidents. The resolution, titled "The Affirmation of the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide," has the support of 77 co-sponsors from both parties in the House of Representatives.

Turkey has warned that the introduction of the resolution could harm both efforts to improve ties with Armenia and bilateral relations with the United States.

U.S. lawmakers almost passed a similar resolution two years ago, but congressional leaders did not bring it up for a vote after intense pressure from then-President George W. Bush and top members of his administration.

"Bill will pass eventually"

Kirk also told Aksam that if the promise given to Armenians is not fulfilled, Democrats may lose Congress elections in 2010.

The U.S. congressmen added he believed that Congress would eventually recognize the Armenian claims.

Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915.

Turkey rejects the claims saying that 300,000 Armenians, along with at least as many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.

Turkey has offered to form a joint commission to investigate what happened in 1915 and opened up all official archives, but Armenia has continued to drag its feet on accepting the offer.


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