Armenian bill not to affect Turkish-American relations: PM Erdogan
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
ANKARA - The latest U.S. draft resolution that supports Armenian allegations regarding the 1915 incidents was discussed on Tuesday in Ankara in a meeting between Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner.
According to information obtained by Anadolu Agency from Prime Minister's Office, Erdogan reaffirmed Turkey's senstivity over the Armenian claims regarding the incidents in 1915, but told Boehner that the issue should not affect the bilateral Turkish-American relations.
Boehner replied that the claims concerning the 1915 incidents should be handled by historians.
During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire approved a deportation law for Armenians amid their uprising with the help of invading Russian army. As a result, an unknown number of people died in civil strife. The Armenian diaspora and the state of Armenia term the incidents as "genocide" and ask for compensation, whereas Turkey says that while Armenians died during the deportation, many Turks also died due to the attacks by Armenian gangs all across Anatolia.
The U.S. Senate Committee approved a draft resolution last Thursday that supports Armenian allegations.
PM's office also said that Erdogan and Boehner discussed regional and international issues including developments in Syria and Ukraine.
Erdogan told Boehner that the presence of al-Qaeda threatened the security of the region, and urged for international cooperation to fight terrorism.
Concerning the Ukraine crisis, Erdogan reaffirmed Turkey's support for and solidarity with the Crimean Tatars, and expressed concerns over Ukraine's territorial integrity.
He also called on all parties in Ukraine to act in a peaceful way to find a resolution to the crisis and prevent a possible civil war.
U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Francis Ricciardone, Turkish Undersecretary of Turkish Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu and some Justice and Development Party deputies also attended the Erdogan-Boehner meeting, the PM's office said.
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