US Congress Resolution on So-Called ‘Armenian Genocide’ Threatens US-Turkey Relations: Azerbaijani Politicians

US Congress Resolution on So-Called ‘Armenian Genocide’ Threatens US-Turkey Relations: Azerbaijani Politicians

Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend I. Alizade / The adoption of a resolution by the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the US Congress Lower House with regards to recognition of the so-called 'Armenian genocide' may significantly damage American-Turkish relations, according to Azerbaijani politicians.

"It is possible to say that most probably the resolution will be adopted by the Congress. It the Congress adopts the resolution on recognition of the so-called 'Armenian genocide', it will poses a significant threat to the State interests of the US," said the Chairman of the Azerbaijan Democratic Reforms Party (DRP), MP Asim Mollazade, on 11 October in Baku.

On 9 October the US Congress's Committee for Foreign Affairs adopted the resolution on so-called 'Armenian genocide', with twenty-seven votes against twenty-one votes. The resolution says that in 1915-1917 the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against the Armenians.

The next step should be taken by the Congress House of Representatives, through Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi may present the resolution to the voting at the House's next meeting.

Mollazade considers that recognizing a so-called 'Armenian genocide' will damage US relations with its largest ally in the Near East. "In addition, it will inflict damage to the American-Turkish joint programs," Mollazade said.

According to him, the resolution has been adopted in accordance with the interests of the Armenian ethnic groups residing in the US. "The US Administration well understands that recognizing a so-called 'Armenian genocide' will bring harm to the interests of Washington. President George Bush's protest against the decision of the Committee testifies to that," Mollazade said.

He considers that the US Congress has a chance to improve its mistake, by holding discussions and adopting a resolution on the Khojali genocide, on of the most vicious tragedies of the 20th century, which was committed by Armenia. "The US Congress may change the situation through recognizing the Khojali genocide committed by Armenia," he said.

An independent politician Rasim Musabeyov said that the Armenian lobby, which pushed for the adoption of the resolution on the so-called 'Armenian genocide' by the Committee for Foreign Affairs of the US Congress Lower House, aims to hurt American-Turkish relations. "It is impossible to allow it. Turkey should react coolly to it," Mollazade said.

The political scientist said the issue will be discussed in the Lower House of the US Congress. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, is interested in putting the resolution forward for voting. "We can predict that the Lower House of the Congress would pass the resolution which recognizes the 'Armenian genocide'. However, the adoption of the resolution is not compulsory. The US President is recommended to take into consideration that Armenians underwent genocide. However, George W. Bush said he did not consider it to be an 'Armenian genocide', Musabayov said.

According to Musabayov, the decision will not affect on the US position in the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Musabeyov believes Turkey, however, may retaliate by stopping its relationships with US Congress. At the same time the Turkish Parliament may pass the resolution including genocide against First Nations people and the murder of Muslims by the US.

One of the possible consequences of the decision may become a severe worsening of Ankara's relations towards the US policy in Iraq. It may cause serious problems for Washington.

"The resolution adopted by the Lower House of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Congress may approve the status of the document after its approval by the House of the Representatives. I believe we should prevent the biggest mistake of the 21st century," Aydin Mirzazadeh, the member of the Political Council of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party and member of the Azerbaijani delegation to PACE, said.

By passing the resolution, the Democrats which make up the majority in Congress, want to obtain the votes of the Armenian lobby at the upcoming presidential elections. "Democrats made the wrong decision, however, and have lost votes of their Turkish-origin US citizens," Mirzazadeh said.

Despite their decision being only of a recommendation nature, it may still cause serious problems in US foreign policy.

The MP noted that the 70% of cargo for US military actions in Iraq is transported by air and 30% by land are implemented via the Turkish territory. If official Ankara imposes ban on transport, the end of the war in Iraq would be catastrophic.

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