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AHI Statement On The Armenian Genocide Resolution
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JONATHAN CLARKE
October 20, 2000 No. 51/00 (202) 785-8430

AHI Statement On The Armenian Genocide Resolution

On October 20, 2000 the American Hellenic Institute released the following statement on the Armenian Genocide resolution.

"The American Hellenic Institute congratulates the Armenian American community on its success in bringing the Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res. 596) to the attention of the House of Representatives. An earlier version (H.Res. 398) attracted 141 bi-partisan co-sponsors and successfully passed the House International Relations Subcommittee on International Organizations and Human Rights. AHI further congratulates the supporters of the resolution. They acted in the finest traditions of American respect for truth and human rights.

AHI deplores the strong-arm tactics used by the Clinton administration to pressure the Congressional leadership not to bring the resolution to a vote in the whole House. These tactics included false testimony to Congress and exaggerated damage assessments. The Administration's actions amounted to capitulation to blackmail from a foreign country.

AHI further deplores the threats issued by the Republic of Turkey. These were not worthy of a country which considers itself a friend of the United States. We associate ourselves with the statement of Armenian Caucus Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in which he said "This is shameful. Turkey is a bully...I'd like to know what kind of ally threatened Americans lives if it doesn't get it way."

AHI believes that the Administration's actions set a profoundly bad precedent for U.S. policy toward Turkey. By succumbing to Turkish intimidation on this issue, the U.S. will harden Turkey's ingrained intransigence over Cyprus and the Aegean to the extent that no progress will be possible on these important issues. In this way, vital U.S. interests in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean will sustain further damage.

In the next Congress and Administration, AHI looks forward to the reintroduction of a similar resolution on the Armenian Genocide and hopes that those who are then in authority will have the courage to defend the truth and to resist intimidation from overseas. This episode has shown that, to prevent further damage to U.S. regional interests, U.S. policy toward Turkey is in need of urgent and fundamental review. We hope that the next Congress will take early steps to hold hearings on this subject."