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U.S. Secretary of Defense: United States sees resolution on "genocide" a mistake

15 March 2010 [08:20] - TODAY.AZ
The U.S. secretary of defense said on Saturday that the United States very strongly felt that the resolution on the Armenian allegations regarding incidents of 1915 a mistake.
Secretary Robert Gates said a resolution of that kind could be very damaging to the U.S.-Turkish relations.

"We certainly hope that the Congress and the House of Representatives take this measure no further," Gates told an interview with al-Arabia TV channel.

Gates said he was worried about the resolution, and he would say that it was just one committee of the House of Representatives that voted that resolution.

"Turkey and Armenia are making progress toward a reconciliation," Gates said.

Gates said protocols had been drafted along those lines, adding that that was the process that the United States thought ought to be used.

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs approved the resolution on Armenian allegations on March 4.

Turkey temporarily recalled its ambassador to United States, Namik Tan, minutes after a U.S. congressional panel approved a resolution labelling the incidents of 1915 as "genocide". Tan arrived in Turkey two days after the adoption of the resolution.

Turkey strongly rejects the genocide allegations and regards the events as civil strife in wartime which claimed lives of many Turks and Armenians.

Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on October 10, 2009 to normalize relations between the two countries. The protocols envisage the two countries to establish diplomatic ties and open the border that has been closed since 1993.

Turkey and Armenia also agreed to take steps to operate a sub-commission on impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss and other international experts would take part.

However, on January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Armenia declared a decision of constitutional conformity on the protocols. Turkey thought the fifth article of Armenian Constitutional Court's verdict regarding the protocols was against the target and basis of the protocols.

/Trend News/

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