GOP senator bows to White House on Armenian genocide measure

  • In Politics
  • 2019-12-05 23:12:38Z
  • By Associated Press
Congress Armenian Genocide
Congress Armenian Genocide  

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Republican senator blocked a resolution Thursday that would recognize the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide.

North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer said he blocked the resolution at the request of the White House. Officials called the timing inappropriate, since President Donald Trump has just returned from a NATO summit in London, where Turkey's role in the mass killing was discussed by NATO leaders. Turkey is a NATO member.

Cramer, who co-sponsored similar legislation in 2017 when he was in the House, said he agreed to the White House request because the vote was set so close to the NATO summit.

"I support the spirit of this resolution,'' Cramer said on the Senate floor. "I suspect 99 of my colleagues do, and at the right time we may pass it. However I do not think this is the right time.''

Cramer is the third GOP senator to block an attempt to adopt the nonbinding resolution without a roll call vote, a procedural move that would allow quick passage. The House passed the resolution overwhelmingly in October in what was widely seen as a rebuke to Turkey in the wake of its invasion of northern Syria.

An activist group, the Armenian National Committee of America, tweeted that Cramer's claim about timing was nonsensical.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed around World War I, and many scholars see it as the 20th century's first genocide. Turkey disputes the description, saying the toll has been inflated and those killed were victims of a civil war.

It's been more than a century since the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, urgently warned in 1915 about the "campaign of race extermination'' against the Armenians, the group said. "So, when's the right time?"

Turkey has lobbied for years against U.S. recognition of the killings of Ottoman Armenians as genocide, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he wouldn't recognize the resolution.

Instead, Turkey has instead called for a joint committee of historians to investigate the slayings.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a co-sponsor of the resolution, said that while Turkey is a NATO ally, "'allies can speak the truth to each other. We should never be afraid to tell the truth, and alliances grounded in lies are themselves unsustainable.''

There's no good reason for the administration to object to the resolution, Cruz added, "and the effect of doing so is to deny recognition of this chilling moment of history."


More Related News

'Still covered in blood': Beirut, Lebanon, searches for survivors of massive explosion

Blood still stained the asphalt Wednesday morning as the streets of Beirut teemed with rescuers and bystanders a day after a massive explosion killed at least 100 and injured 4,000 people in Lebanon's capital.

Coronavirus updates: Johnson & Johnson, US cut vaccine deal; Cruise lines extend moratorium; University of Connecticut won
Coronavirus updates: Johnson & Johnson, US cut vaccine deal; Cruise lines extend moratorium; University of Connecticut won't play football

A deal on the coronavirus stimulus package could be reached by end of week. The fifth vaccine developer released promising results. Latest news.

Trump nominee for Ukraine says
Trump nominee for Ukraine says 'reasonable' to report interference

Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Ukraine cautiously promised Wednesday to report any interference in the US election, an issue that triggered the president's impeachment. Keith Dayton, a respected retired army lieutenant general, was tapped to be the first US ambassador to Ukraine since Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump abruptly removed in May 2019. Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dayton was pressed by the top Democrat, Robert Menendez, on whether he would report any attempts to use Ukraine to sway the US election in November.

Trump threatens lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada
Trump threatens lawsuit to block mail-in voting in Nevada

State lawmakers have approved a bill to automatically send mail-in ballots to voters.

Microsoft to continue talks to buy TikTok from ByteDance
Microsoft to continue talks to buy TikTok from ByteDance

The company made the statement following a conversation between is CEO Satya Nadella and U.S. President Donald Trump. It said it would ensure that all private data of TikTok's American users is transferred to and remains in the United States.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Politics