Turkish Minister Warns Against U.S. Genocide Resolution
February 7, 2007 -- Turkey's foreign minister has warned the U.S. Congress that passing a resolution condemning as "genocide" the mass killing of Armenians early in the last century would harm relations.
Gul (left) meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on February 6 (epa)
Abdullah Gul, speaking after meeting top U.S. officials in Washington on February 6, said the proposed resolution would be an irritant to otherwise close cooperation with the United States on issues such as Iraq.
"I see this as a real threat to our relationship," he said. "While we are having cooperation in these difficult fields, while we are fighting shoulder to shoulder in these fields, while we are supporting each other and facing these challenges, this resolution, if it is accepted, I believe that if that happens, it will be a real shock."
U.S. officials have said they will try to block the resolution.
"In terms of the discussions within the U.S. Congress, look, we understand very clearly that this is a sensitive issue not only for the Turkish people but for the Armenian people," U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormick said. "We have made our views known on the potential for a resolution or for a bill."
Turkey denies the World War 1-era deaths of around 1.5 million Armenians amounted to genocide.