GLENDALE (News-Press and Leader)–Threatened by the attachment of two amendmen’s by Rep. Adam Schiff to a state department bill–House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde committed to a hearing on an Armenian Genocide resolution–Schiff said.
Hyde agreed to the hearing if Schiff removed amendmen’s requiring extensive efforts by the US Government to conduct analysis of diplomatic responses to the Armenian–Cambodian and Rwandan genocides and the Holocaust. The amendment would have also required the US to call for an end to Turkey’s ongoing blockade with Armenia.
Hyde guaranteed the hearing out of concern that Schiff’s amendmen’s would be approved–Schiff said.
The International Relations Committee has not taken a vote on the Genocide resolution since October 2000.
Schiff called the guaranteed debate and vote on the resolution a breakthrough in light of the 90th anniversary of the genocide–during which 1.5 million Armenia’s were killed by the Ottoman Empire.
Leaders in Congress and President Bush’s administration have been hesitant to acknowledge the Armenian genocide out of fear of offending US ally Turkey–Schiff said.
"If that is the standard we will use to recognize the genocide–then that is not a principled position for us to take," he said. "Turkey will have to come to grips with its Ottoman past. It is better to do it now–and the US needs to show some leadership."