Ankara urges US to prevent vore on "genocide" claims
Turkey is redoubling its efforts to prevent a possible US House of Representatives vote today on Armenian "genocide" claims, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sending a letter to President Barack Obama stressing the gravity of the situation. Top Turkish political figures have warned that passing the resolution could greatly damage Turkish-US relations. "In the letter, the prime minister pointed to the seriousness and sensitivity of the situation," a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told reporters yesterday. "He called on President Barack Obama to work actively to prevent the resolution from going to the House floor. Erdogan also cited Ankara 's efforts to normalize relations with Armenia ." The official added, "Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish Embassy in Washington , the Turkish and US Azeri lobbies and Turkish-US friendship groups are urging US officials to block the resolution." US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could decide to withdraw the resolution, reasoning that it lacks the votes for passage, but this is unlikely, as the resolution is important for her, according to a source in Ankara . Since the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the resolution in March, in a surprise development, the same could happen in the House, the source added. Turkish diplomatic sources said Ankara has gotten overwhelming support from the top levels of the US government, citing Deputy Secretary of State Philip Crowley's statement last week that the State Department is categorically against any vote taking place.