A US congressional panel defied President George W. Bush on Wednesday and approved a measure calling the killings of Armenians early in the last century genocide. Bush had warned this would damage US goals in the Middle East.
The measure that would recognize the killings of Armenians as a genocide had been strongly opposed by Turkey, a key NATO ally that has provided support to US efforts in Iraq.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee's 27-21 vote now sends the measure to the full House floor _ unless the Democratic leadership reverses course and heeds Bush's warnings.
Bush and other senior officials had made a last-minute push to persuade lawmakers on the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee to reject the measure.