15.04.2010 13:22

Howard Berman, Chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs
Committee, denounced efforts by his Colleagues in the Turkish Caucus
to question the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide, rejecting
the flawed national security and economic arguments put forth by these
legislators to block the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution
(H.Res.252) by the full U.S. House of Representatives, reported the
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

"Chairman Berman expertly takes apart each Turkish Caucus excuse to
delay, derail, and ultimately defeat the Armenian Genocide Resolution,"
said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We look to the House
leadership, first and foremost Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader
Hoyer, to follow Chairman Berman's lead in both scheduling this
genocide-prevention measure for a vote and in working energetically
with their colleagues to secure its adoption."

In a strongly worded response to a Congressional Turkish Caucus letter
urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to block floor consideration
of the measure, Chairman Berman took "strong exception" to their
references to the "so-called Armenian Genocide Resolution," stating
that the assertion, "flies in the face of the overwhelming weight of
unimpeachable historical evidence and the virtually unanimous opinion
of genocide scholars."

Chairman Berman also rejected the flawed national security arguments
against the Armenian Genocide Resolution, stating, "I believe that
U.S.-Turkish security relations are founded on mutual interests and
that Turkey is not about to discard the immense benefits it derives
from bilateral security relations for the sake of 'punishing'
the US for a non-binding resolution, however much it may resent
that resolution." He went on to argue that the Turkish response to
the passage of previous genocide legislation has been "limited and
short-lived, at most."

The Chairman also disputed the effect of Congressional Genocide
affirmation on Turkey-Armenia relations, arguing that the
Turkey-Armenia Protocols "have been gathering dust in the Turkish
parliament" due to Turkish preconditions on the process.

The chairman's letter coincides with bilateral meetings held between
President Barack Obama and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, and
also between Sargsyan and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.