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U.S. Congress smashes agonizing Armenia-Turkey dialogue

09 March 2010 [16:13] - TODAY.AZ
Probably, it would be accurate to describe what is happening now in the U.S. Congress as a regular Armenian show. Resolutions like the one adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee usually emerge before April 24 every year. Turkey's reaction to an attempt to make the country repent for a crime it did not commit is quite predictable. Ankara may react in different ways recalling its ambassador and keeping silent in response to questions about the fate of the Incirlik base. It understands that this is not about the so-called "moral responsibility" for a crime that Turkey in fact did not commit, but rather about territorial claims.

The Armenian community admits that recognition of the "genocide" is only the first step to be followed by "overcoming its consequence", namely, hand-over of Turkey’s six eastern Anatolia provinces to Armenia. For obvious reasons, Ankara seeks to prevent this move.

As a result, Armenian resolutions in Congress will fail to advance further. They have never reached the point that would enable them to take force. It requires that the resolution was supported by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The date the House of Representatives will consider Resolution 252 has yet not been fixed. 

The main point is not the distribution of votes as the U.S. executive branch opposes the resolution. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her position stating that Congress will not consider this resolution. This means that despite the fact that both Clinton and Vice President Joseph Biden and President Barack Obama himself in their "senatorial" years advocated the recognition of the "genocide," the United States is now unlikely to sacrifice the Incirlik base, passage through the straits and key role in the Middle East for the sake of the 1915 events.

Finally, even before the negotiations between Turkey and Armenia became a political factor, the White House and State Department emphasized in every way that the Turkish and Armenian peoples or historians, but not policy-makers and legislators, must decide about the 1915 events.

Most remarkable is that Armenian lobbyists themselves understand it and also are perfectly aware that the efforts to achieve the recognition of the genocide will fail. But every year before April 24, they dutifully and meticulously work out the money and votes received from Armenian lobbyists during the election campaign ... and demonstrate that they have not forgotten promises offering a resolution and making statements.

But new notes appeared in a traditional "show about the genocide" in 2010. First of all, this is the first campaign for recognition of "genocide" after the Zurich protocols were signed. Reports about the "road map" emerged prior to the April 24, 2009, but today everything is different. Above all, it is obvious that the "genocide" recognition campaign essentially ruins the Armenian-Turkish dialogue.

In fact, starting negotiations with Armenia, Turkey pursued understandable goals: to get Armenia recognize its borders and protect itself against annual spring headaches over the "Armenian resolutions." In April 2009, it seemed that there was serious "mismatch” of position between the Armenian diaspora, who mainly targeted recognition of the genocide and Armenia, who is aloof with pressing problems. It seemed Yerevan will soon agree to a joint study of 1915 events by historians of the two countries and will recognize borders. 

Frankly, the Armenian Constitutional Court decision shattered all these hopes. The fact that parliamentary delegation from Armenia attended the vote in Congress leaves no hopes in this regard. Those in Yerevan demand to open borders while they are reluctant to renounce any of the charges and territorial claims. The U.S. Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs, which supported these claims, simply "smashed" an already agonizing dialogue as well as Turkey’s policy of "zero problems with neighbors".

But much more dangerous is that the Armenian public openly complains that lobbyists, who regularly receive money and votes, have failed to achieve the recognition of the genocide, already openly calling to "remember" methods that terrorists employed in the 1970s and 1980s to let the world know about the "interests of Armenians." And all this is happening on the backdrop of  the strengthening "cult of terror" in Armenia that seems ready to resort to this "surrogate war" to change the alignment of forces in its favor.

Day.Az writer

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