ANKARA (Hurriyet)–U.S. Ambassador to Ankara James Jeffrey warned Turkish deputies on Tuesday that the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.252) would likely pass through the U.S. Congress in March unless the Turkish Parliament quickly ratifies agreements with Armenia to normalize relations and open borders, The Turkish Daily News reported Tuesday, citing unnamed “reliable” sources.
Jeffrey made his comments during an hour-and-a-half long meeting with members of the Turkish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Commission. During the meeting, commission members expressed their concern to Jeffrey over the prospects of the bill’s passage.
Commission Chairman, Murat Mercan told the US envoy, that the deputies would “do what is best for our country regardless of the outside effects.”
Mercan’s sentiments were echoed by Onur Oymen, a deputy from the opposition Republican People’s Party. Oymen said the protocols would not be ratified by the Turkish Grand National Assembly until Armenia agrees to a settlement of the Karabakh conflict favoring Azerbaijan.
According to Hurriyet, the commission also warned Jeffrey that the pending resolution. If passed, would torpedo ongoing normalization talks with Armenia. The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to vote on the bill on March 4.
Jeffrey, for his part, told reporters before the meeting that the US government would “give full support for the [normalization] process between Turkey and Armenia.”
“As President [Barack] Obama noted in his speech at the Turkish Parliament, the best way is to continue this process. That’s why we send this message to both countries,” he said.
Jeffrey assured the Turkish deputies that he “will convey the message given by [them].”