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Turkey Urges U.S. To Block 'Genocide' Bill

Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
Turkey is calling on the Obama administration to block passage of a bill that would label as "genocide" the World War I massacres of Armenians in Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke by telephone with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on March 28 in an attempt to stop the bill from advancing to a full vote in the House of Representatives, according to Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

The U.S. House's Foreign Affairs Committee approved the resolution by a small margin on March 4, calling on President Barack Obama to refer to the nearly century-old killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

Clinton has urged the committee not to hold the vote over concerns it could harm U.S.-Turkish relations.

Davutoglu told Clinton the bill has had a "negative impact" on Turkish-U.S. ties and on Turkey's efforts to mend relations with Armenia.

compiled from agency reports