The leading sponsors of the Armenian Genocide resolution decided Thursday that they will postpone voting on the bill.
The resolution, which was approved by the House Foreign Relations Committee on Oct. 10, began to lose support because it threatened vital ties with Turkey.
Since the House approved the resolution, about a dozen lawmakers withdrew as cosponsors and it no longer had majority support.
President Bush, who contacted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the importance of holding off the bill, stated “congress has more important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one that’s providing vital support for our military every day.”
Bush’s reaction to the resolution has angered supporters because of his seemingly flawed reasoning. The president does not want to anger a vital ally, however, on Oct. 17 he attended a congressional ceremony honoring the Dalai Lama, against the wishes of the President of China.
The resolution’s author Rep.Adam Schiff, D-Glendale, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey, and Representatives Brad Sherman, D- San Fernando Valley, and Anna Eshoo, D- Palo Alto came up with a revised schedule for the bill and decided that because of the circumstances, it would be held off until the timing was more favorable.
The representatives will continue working with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding the resolution and hope to bring it to a vote later this year or possibly in 2008.
Many who back the resolution are disappointed with this decision and feel as though the genocide will never gain worldwide recognition.
“I knew that it wasn’t going to pass,” said business major Shara Hartoonian, 20. “There always seems to be something standing in the way of recognition and I don’t know when that’s going to change.”
Turkey has sent counter-terrorism troops into Northern Iraq despite Bush’s insistence that they hold off, which some believe was an angry response to the genocide resolution.
The Turkish government sent the troops to the Iraqi border to deal with the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, which launched an attack on Turkey leaving 12 of its soldiers dead.
The Iraqi government is trying to deal with the PKK in order to avoid any rash action from Turkey. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki promised that he would shut down PKK offices, something he pledged to do in 2006.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said “We have emphasized many times that the Kurdistan Workers Party does not exist in the Iraqi Kurdish cities, they are positioned in rocky terrain. For that it is impossible to arrest them, not to mention handing them over to Turkey.”