Bush: It's not a genocide, it's a historic mass killing!
Congress defied President Bush today and passed a resolution acknowledging the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks in the early 20th Century.
Here's a statement from committee chair Tom Lantos on the passage of H. Res 106.
Eager to preserve relations with Turkey, Bush urged Congress to reject the resolution:
Congress rejected a plea by the Bush administration yesterday over a resolution officially recognising as genocide the deportation and massacre of Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman empire.
George Bush warned of the negative repercussions should Congress use the word genocide to describe the killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians and their exile.
"This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in Nato and in the global war on terror," Mr Bush said. [BBC]
Earlier this week, Turkey's president, Abudullah Gul, wrote to Bush to warn that relations between Turkey and the USA would suffer if the bill passed.
If Turkey is going to abandon us over the symbolic recognition of a 92-year-old historical fact, I'm not sure it's such a valuable ally.
Update: In 2000, Bush used the word "genocidal" to describe the slaughter of the Armenians.