WASHINGTON (Combined Sources)–A Republican member of the House of Representatives has warned his congressional colleagues to steer clear from legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide, urging them to heed the importance of cooperation with NATO ally Turkey for achieving U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In a letter to 434 members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said Turkey has a critical role in helping the U.S. reach its goals in these two troubled countries.
The US administration plans to pull combat troops out of Iraq by Aug. 31, 2010, while a complete withdrawal is slated for the end of 2011. Turkey is one of the possible exit routes for this pullout. Turkish officials say they would assist the US in an Iraq withdrawal, although they have not yet received any formal request from the US to that effect.
Shuster’s letter comes as congressmen prepare to introduce a resolution reaffirming the US record on the Armenian Genocide. Ankara has warned repeatedly that ties will be dealt a heavy blow if such a resolution is passed.
But virtually every member in Congress knows that the genocide is a fact of history, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Schiff made his commen’s over the weekend, during a visit to the San Joaquin Valley where he met with the Armenian-American community and pledged to reintroduce the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress,
The Fresno Bee reported that Schiff expects to be hit with “an onslaught” of lobbying against the bill by Turkey.