US REJECTS LINKING ARMENIA TALKS WITH 'GENOCIDE' RESOLUTION

Today's Zaman
03 February 2010, Wednesday

A senior US State Department official has called on both Armenia and
Turkey to move forward in the process of normalizing their ties,
while refusing to make a link between the normalization issue and
possible US recognition of Armenian genocide allegations.

Remarks by Philip Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European
and Eurasian affairs, came at a briefing at the State Department's
Foreign Press Center on Monday when he was asked whether a failure
in the normalization process between Ankara and Yerevan might lead
to a revival of the Armenian genocide resolution, in an apparent
reference to two resolutions pending in the US Congress endorsing
the genocide claims.

Recalling the US call for ratification of two accords signed by
Turkey and Armenia in October and designed to overcome a century
of hostility stemming from the World War I mass killings of both
Turks and Armenians, Gordon labeled such progress "an opportunity to
overcome really historic differences between the two countries in a
way that would benefit both."

"We think that is true regardless of other issues -- that it needs
to move forward independently of other issues simply because it is
in the interests of the two countries. So we are in regular touch
with both governments and encourage them to move forward with that
process. And that's where it stands. We will continue to work with
both of them. As for any links, I think President [Barack] Obama has
addressed the other issue you mentioned about congressional legislation
and our view on that is no different, that Turkey-Armenia normalization
is a good thing in and of itself, and it should move forward because
of that," Gordon added.

During a visit to Turkey in early April 2009, Obama appealed for
reconciliation between Ankara and Yerevan. Obama, who pledged to
recognize the Armenian diaspora's genocide claims in his election
campaign, avoided using the g-word in his traditional April 24 message.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress