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Articles

A WIND OF CHANGE

Ömer Engin LÜTEM, Retired Ambassador
26 March 2007 - ERAREN
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Following the democrats gaining the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the election of Nancy Pelosi -known for her pro-Armenian stance- as the Speaker of the House, the adoption of the draft resolutions brought before both houses of the Congress foreseeing the acceptance of the Armenian genocide allegations, was viewed as certain. However, as surmised from the press it appears that the probability of these resolutions being adopted on the 24th of April or around that date has decreased. The once prevalent optimism amongst the Armenian press has been replaced with pessimism. Even Armenian Foreign Minister Oskanian has expressed hesitancy on this matter.


No doubt, warning signs issued by Turkey to the effect that these resolutions would have a detrimental effect upon their relations with the U.S. has played a significant role in this development. That these words of caution were conveyed not only by the government, but also by nearly every political party as well as by the general public has sufficed to deliver the message that the adoption of these resolutions would engender sharp reactions from Turkey.


This wind of change blowing through Washington is also a result of the American Government latterly opposing these resolutions in a decided tone. Also influential has been the Foreign and Defense Ministers sending a joint letter on this matter to certain Congress officials alongside Assistant Deputy Minister level officials providing for a briefing on relations with Turkey.


However, it would be wrong to declare the draft resolutions dead and deferred to an unspecified later date. The fate of these resolutions, as the saying goes, teeters on the edge of a knife. Those who support these resolutions, whose numbers are said to exceed 180, are contemplating their effect on US interests in Iraq. If it is deemed that the resolutions will cause grievous detriment to the said interests then the resolutions will be deferred to a later date, if this is not the case it can be expected that they will be presented to a vote and will most probably pass with a majority ballot. It should be noted that the Congress is due to recess on March 30th. With this in mind, one should pay heed to how the Armenian militants will most probably strive with renewed vigor to get these resolutions adopted by sometime approximating around the 24th of April when the Congress reconvenes on the 16th.


Another facet to this issue can be observed by noting that the US press has mentioned that the adoption of the resolutions would greatly benefit if it were to be postponed until the US presidential elections scheduled to be held next year. Also, as speculated by the US press the fact that Turkey’s general and presidential elections will have been completed at this time the probability of Turkey’s resistance to the resolutions in question will have also greatly diminished. Thus, we can gather that deferring the adoption of the said resolutions until next year is becoming a feasible prospect in the US.
 
 
The deferral of the said resolutions does not mean that the issues Turkey is faced with today have been neutralized; it only means that the apparent problems of today will only resurface with more potency in the coming year.

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ERAREN - Institute for Armenian Research

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