Russia hints politics to blame in Iran arms delay

March 2, 2010 17:15


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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish politicians fear if a US congressional panel recognizes the World War-I era killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide, that would not only damage ties with its longtime US ally but hurt US-led efforts to help Turkey end a century of enmity with archrival Armenia.

Ahead of Thursday's vote at the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Turkey issued blunt warnings urging the Congress to "act with responsibility," and its lawmakers lobbied in Washington against yet another resolution on the stinging issue.

A positive vote would allow the resolution to be considered by the full House. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she will wait to see the committee result before deciding whether to bring it up for vote.

At stake is friendly US ties with Turkey, NATO's sole Muslim member, which is a key supply route for US troops in Iraq. Turkey is also a symbolically important member of the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan, even though Turkish forces only patrol the Afghan capital and do not fight the Taliban, fearing a backlash from Muslims.

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