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U.S. Business Leaders Warn Against Armenia 'Genocide' Bill

Genocide remembrance in Armenia
U.S. business leaders are urging the House of Representatives to reject a resolution that would label as genocide the World War I-era killing of Armenians by Turkish forces.

In a letter, chief executives from the U.S. aerospace and defense industry warned passage of the measure by the House Foreign Affairs Committee could lead to "a rupture in U.S.-Turkey relations" and put American jobs at risk.

Business leaders from Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co, and Raytheon Co, among others, noted U.S. defense and aerospace exports to Turkey amounted to $7 billion in 2009 and are expected to be similar in 2010.

On March 1, Turkey warned its ties with the United States would be damaged if the House panel approved the measure.

The nonbinding resolution is scheduled to be voted on March 4 by the House panel.

If passed, it would require President Barack Obama to ensure that U.S. policy formally refers to the massacre as "genocide."

compiled from agency reports