Commentary No : 2010 / 7
3 min read

Yesterday, with 23 votes against 22, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the US House of Representatives approved the draft resolution H.Res.252 which foresees the acceptance of the Armenian “genocide” allegations. By stating in his opening speech that one cannot doubt the reality of the genocide allegations, Chairman of the Committee Howard Berman openly supported the Armenian views. Later on, by constantly extending the time limit of the voting, he tried to increase the number of votes in favor of the draft resolution. If it was not for this stance of Berman which has also been heavily criticized today by the Turkish media, perhaps the draft would be rejected by the Committee even if by a small number of votes. The adoption of the draft resolution by the Foreign Affairs Committee with only one vote shows that a new situation is appearing within the US Congress for the voting of the Armenian draft resolutions. From now on, the possibility of rejecting the draft resolution entailing Armenian views exists. Therefore, although the approval of the draft resolution has been a success for the Armenians, what happened in the House can also indicate that for the future, a period of defeat for the Armenian resolutions could also begin. The next step is for the draft resolution adopted by the Committee to be discussed and put up for voting in the House of Representatives. When this will take place depends on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Just as Berman, Pelosi has been elected from California and also supports Armenian views. It could be understood that at a time when the chance of adopting the draft resolution is at its highest, she will put the draft on the agenda of the House for voting. The best way to find out the possibility of these types of draft resolutions being adopted is to look at how many co-sponsors exist. About a year ago on March 17, 2009, when the draft was submitted to the House, the co-sponsors had exceeded a hundred in a very short time, but then had remained at around 130. Yesterday, when the draft resolution was put up for voting in the Committee, this number was 137. In the House of Representatives, the absolute majority is 218. Therefore, if the draft is voted in a short period of time, it seems that there is no chance of it being adopted. For this reason, the Armenian lobby intensively seeking to find new co-sponsors in the upcoming days must be expected. If a majority of the members of the House of Representatives will believe that this draft resolution will not significantly harm Turkish-American relations, then the chance of the adoption of the draft will increase. In the opposite condition, this chance will decrease. With this in mind, from now on, it is very important for Turkey to maintain their current stance on the adoption of the draft resolution harming both Turkish-American and Turkey-Armenia relations. In relation to this, Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington being recalled for consultations has been a rather appropriate step in showing Turkey’s determination. Within this framework, it is difficult to say that the efforts of the Armenian lobby for the adoption of the draft resolution will definitely be successful. The opposite is also equally possible. Therefore, the voting taking place yesterday has shown a kind of failure, or at least has shown that the Armenians have not been successful enough.

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