Turkish Americans urge Obama to block 'genocide' resolution

A major Turkish-American group has urged US President Barack Obama to discourage Congress from further considering a resolution supporting the Armenian genocide claims. In a statement, the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) also called on Obama, set to issue an annual message today marking the killings of Armenians in the early 20th century, to "remember and honor" the Ottoman Muslims who also perished during an Armenian revolt in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs narrowly passed the resolution earlier this month, but it is not clear if it will come to a full House vote. The ATAA warned that if the resolution goes any further, it could harm both Turkish-US ties and the current process of reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia under protocols signed last fall. "The United States must speak with one voice on Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. We cannot simultaneously encourage ratification of the protocols while prejudicing the outcomes of one of their elements – the envisaged joint historical commission," the statement says. In related news, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton this week reiterated her support for such a commission. "That's the right way to go, I think, to have the two countries and the two peoples focusing on this themselves," she told a Russian TV interviewer. "I have said many times we cannot change the past we inherit. All we can do is try to have a better future."