Turkey concerned about U.S. congresswoman's Armenia initiative

09:20, December 21, 2010      

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Turkey said Monday that it was concerned about a U.S. congresswoman's plan to bring a resolution over the killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule to the agenda of the House of Representatives, local media reported.

Turkey was uneasy about the initiatives of some U.S. circles to bring up the issue for internal political considerations, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Cemil Cicek was quoted by the semi-official Anatolia news agency as telling reporters after a cabinet meeting.

It was wrong for the United States to use the incidents as an instrument to disturb Turkey, like a means of torture, he said.

Cicek's remarks came after Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, expressed her willingness to bring the resolution labelling the World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide.

"Turkey attaches importance to its relations with the United States and we believe this relationship is for the best interests of the two countries," Cicek said.

Turkey believed the U.S. administration would behave more calmly and with common sense and would not let some lobbies to harm relations, he said.

Turkey and Armenia have been bogged down in a row over the World War I-era killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule, which Armenia says was a genocide. Turkey denies that charge and insists the Armenians were victims of widespread chaos and governmental breakdown as the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire collapsed before modern Turkey was born in 1923.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic nor economic ties since Armenia declared its independence in 1991. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 to support Azerbaijan, which had a territorial conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Turkey and Armenia signed protocols to normalize relations and open borders last year but the pacts need to be approved by both countries' parliaments before taking effect.

Source: Xinhua

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