WASHINGTON – House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she would present an Armenian Genocide bill to the House despite US and Turkish anger over the measure.
“I don’t have a date in mind, but it will before the end of this session. I’ve said if comes out of committee it will go to the floor. Now it has come out of committee and it will go to the floor,” said Pelosi during her weekly Capitol Hill briefing.
“I’ve been in Congress for 20 years and for 20 years people have been saying the same thing that Turkey’s strategic location in the Cold War–that was before the Soviet Union came down. Then they said that because of their strategic location. Then came the Gulf War I. Then in the Clinton years, it was the pipeline and airspace. Now they’re saying it is Gulf War II. They are saying ‘why do it now?’ Because, all of us in the Democratic leadership have supported [it]. We are reiterating Americans’ acknowledgement of the Genocide. When the Genocide was happening, our diplomats there reported a plan for the annihilation–elimination–of a race of Armenia’s. One that was planned ahead,” added Pelosi.
“Ronald Reagan–President Reagan–in 1981 referred to the Armenian Genocide and said that we cannot forget that and other persecutions of people that have occurred. While that may have been a long time ago, genocide is taking place now in Darfur. It did in recent memory in Rwanda. So, as long as there’s Genocide there’s a need to speak against it,” emphasized Pelosi.
The Speaker rejected the assertion from a reporter that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to move ahead with a planned incursion into Northern Iraq was tied to Wednesday’s vote in the House Committee.
“You think the Prime Minister of Turkey asked the parliament of Turkey for permission to have an incursion into Iraq because of the Armenian resolution? I don’t think so. This is about Turkey’s plans. This isn’t about our resolution about the Genocide,” asserted Pelosi.
“If the prime minister would imply that but for the resolution they wouldn’t have this incursion; I don’t think so!” commented Pelosi.