Cabinet to discuss roadmap in wake of US 'genocide' vote
Today's regular weekly Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will focus on drawing up a roadmap for relations between Ankara and Washington after a key US congressional panel last week branded the killings of Anatolian Armenians during World War I as genocide. Turkey expressed its outrage over the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee's passage of the non-binding resolution on Thursday and recalled its ambassador for consultations. "The decision of the Foreign Affairs Committee will not hurt Turkey, but it will greatly harm bilateral relations, interests and vision," Erdogan said on Saturday, speaking to a group of Turkish businessmen. "Turkey will not be the one to lose." The Obama administration made a last-minute appeal against the resolution and has vowed to stop the vote from going further in Congress. Turkey has said the resolution could jeopardize a fragile drive by Turkey and Armenia to end a century of hostilities and lead to further instability in the Southern Caucasus, a region crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines to Europe. Turkey's ambassador to the US, Namik Tan, told journalists upon arriving in Turkey on Saturday that it was unclear when he would return to Washington following his talks with the president, prime minister and foreign minister. "I will return when the time is right ... We will have to wait and see," Tan said. The road map is expected to contain flexibility over "retaliatory" steps, as Ankara will also have to focus on preventing US President Barack Obama from calling the killings of Anatolian Armenians "genocide" in an annual White House statement on April 24.