October 11, 2007 - 11:38 AMT PanARMENIAN.Net
- With a vote of 27 to 21, the influential panel of the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step toward ending U.S. complicity in Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide, adopting H.Res.106, the Armenian Genocide
Resolution, despite an intense campaign of threats and intimidation by the Turkish government and its lobbyists in Washington, DC, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
In his opening remarks, the Committee chairman, Tom Lantos called on the Congressmen to vote in good conscience.
The Committee decision opens the way for full house consideration of the measure.
"The Foreign Affairs Committee's adoption today of the Armenian Genocide Resolution represents a meaningful step toward reclaiming our right - as Americans - to speak openly and honestly about the first genocide of the 20th Century, free from the gag-rule that Turkey has, for far too long, sought to impose on our nation's elected officials," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "As Americans, we must always remain free to speak openly about human rights and should never outsource our nation's foreign policy - or our morality - to another nation."
"The adoption of the Resolution is significant both for the United States and the whole world. If we do not pass the resolution on the first genocide of the 20th century, the crime may be repeated in future," said Rep. Edward Royce (R-CA).
Meanwhile the committee members who opposed the resolution said "modern Turkey is not the Ottoman Empire and it bears no responsibility for the crime committed 90 years ago."
Introduced on January 30th by Rep. Adam Schiff along with Representative George Radanovich (R-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), the Armenian Genocide resolution calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. The resolution is cosponsored by 226 Members of Congress from 39 states. A similar resolution in the Senate (S.Res.106), introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) currently has 32 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY).