Graham blocks resolution on the disputed Armenian issue

Baku, November 16, AZERTAC

Following a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the US senator stood up to tell his colleagues they should not sugarcoat or rewrite history, according to TRT World.

On October 29, as Turkey celebrated the 96th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic in Washington, the House of Representatives voted 405-11 in favour of the resolution to recognize the alleged killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

The resolution was not legally binding unless the Senate passes it.

On Wednesday 13 November, US Senator Lindsey Graham blocked the passage of the resolution which would officially recognize the so-called Armenian genocide. Graham's objection came hours after he took part in a White House meeting with US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside a group of Republican senators.

Graham objected to passing the resolution in the Senate, saying senators shouldn't "sugarcoat history or try to rewrite it".

The House vote came in the wake of Ankara's operation in northern Syria to secure its borders from the YPG/PKK terrorist organisation in order to establish a safe zone for Syrian refugees who are currently in Turkey.

The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization in the EU, US and Turkey. The YPG/PKK is responsible for more than 40,000 deaths in Turkey.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who has faced corruption allegations in the past and been accused of “poor judgement” in accepting illegal campaign donations, has been one of the main people pushing for the Armenian resolution.

Graham, however, said that he was objecting to the resolution "not because of the past but because of the future" adding on the Senate floor that he hoped “Turkey and Armenia can come together and deal with this problem".

Erdogan has in the past repeatedly reiterated his call for historians to investigate the issue.

"If the US side really wants to act fairly, it should refrain from taking a political stand on a matter that historians should decide," Erdogan has said.

In recent times the main triggers of voting and blocking the Armenian resolutions have been related to politics and not humanitarian sensibilities.

The Turkish operation in Syria was this time the main impetus for this resolution there has also been a distinctly anti-Turkish shift amongst US politicians in the House and the Senate.

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