US Senators launch new ‘genocide’ bill

US Senators launch new ‘genocide’ bill

US Senators launch new ‘genocide’ bill

Two senators including Republican US senator Mark Kirk launches a new effort for the passage in the Senate of an ‘Armenian genocide’ resolution. REUTERS photo

Two influential pro-Armenian senators have formally launched a new effort for the passage in the U.S. Senate of an “Armenian genocide” resolution, the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) reported late Tuesday. Turkish Foreign Ministry officials say Turkey would do all it could to avoid the passage of the resolution while US diplomats telling “US would think twice at a time when it needs Turkey on Syria and other matters”

Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, and Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, introduced the new “Armenian genocide” resolution, the AAA said in a statement. Senators Barbara Boxer, a Democrat from California, Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, Carl Levin, a Democrat from Michigan, Joe Lieberman, and Independent from Connecticut, Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, and Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, joined as original sponsors.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said this was a very negative development, and Turkey would do all it could to avoid its passage. One foreign ministry official said, “It is obvious that the passage of this would be very negative in terms of the development of Turkish-American ties.” One diplomatic source in Washington said Turkey was in quite a strong position to avoid the measure again this time. “At a time when the U.S. needs Turkey on Syria and other matters it would think twice but it won’t be the end of the world for the Armenians. Because they actually have in mind 2015, the 100th anniversary of what they see as the genocide.”

US administration against the bill

“It is time for the United States to join the nineteen nations including Belgium, Canada, France, Italy and the European Union that have formally recognized the actions carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide,” Senator Menendez said.

The first step for the bill is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where Menendez serves as a subcommittee chairman. This committee is chaired by Senator John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts, who has a long record in support of the U.S. Armenian cause. If the bill passes there, it will come to a 100-member floor vote. The U.S. President and the administration are against the passage of such a bill.