By Ara Khachatourian cle=41021_3/31/2009_1
Tuesday March 31, 2009

A group of House members, traditionally and vocally opposing
Congressional resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide, wrote
a letter to the presidents of Armenia and Turkey expressing their
support for what they called "lasting Armenian-Turkish rapprochement."

These notorious Genocide deniers representatives Robert Wexler, a
member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (D-Fla.), Ike Skelton
(D-MO), the Chairman of the House Armed Service Committee, John
Murtha (D-Penn.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Defense
Appropriations, and Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Co-chairman of the
Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, are the lead
signatories of the letter.

"As members of Congress who agree that lasting Armenian-Turkish
rapprochement should be a top priority for the United States, please
know we are ready to assist your nations efforts to normalize relations
and build a better future for generations of Armenians and Turks,"
the representatives wrote in the letter.

"It is essential that the building blocks of trust and cooperation are
established between Armenia and Turkey to heal open wounds, mend broken
hearts and create a better future for both nations and peoples," "This
process is difficult and at times painful, but we remain hopeful that
ongoing bilateral engagement will lead to a positive breakthrough that
forever changes the dynamics of the region and opens the door to new
possibilities and brighter futures for Armenia and Turkey," they added.

The objective of this letter is to divert attention from H.Res. 252,
which was introduced by representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and
George Radanovich (R-Calif.), to properly recognize the Armenian

On the eve of President Obama's planned visit to Turkey and Turkish
government's efforts to shift the focus from Genocide recognition
to the so-called Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, this letter goes on
record as an almost organic follow-up to Turkish propaganda efforts
and its current posturing on Capitol Hill.

This effort should be viewed as nothing more than an insult to the
Armenian-American community, whose history is being summed up as an
effort to "mend broken hearts" while at the same time fueling the
cycle of Genocide.

It no surprise that the Turkish and Azeri press hailed this effort
by prominently placing it on their Web sites. It is also a bit
discomforting that the Armenian press, similarly, trumpeted this
development without providing proper perspective to their readers.

The opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and establishing of
diplomatic relations should not be confused with the imperative to
recognize the Armenian Genocide. One has nothing to do with the other
and the effort by the aforementioned members of the House should
be deplored as a cheap effort to water down the Genocide issue and
compare apples with oranges.