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Sponsors of US House Armenian genocide resolution urge vote delay

[JURIST] Representatives in the US House of Representatives have asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay a vote on a resolution [HR 106 materials; text] labeling as genocide the World War I-era killings of over one million Armenians by Turkish soldiers [ANCA backgrounder; Turkish DC Embassy backgrounder]. The proposed legislation was approved by the House Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month and was expected to reach the floor [JURIST reports] before Congress recessed for the year. Four of the bill's primary supporters, however, sent a letter to Pelosi Wednesday expressing concern over the possibility of the resolution failing a House vote amid increasing concern about the resolution's effect on US-Turkey relations. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified before Congress Wednesday that, if passed, the resolution could "severely harm" US-Turkish relations [JURIST report].

Turkey has long objected [JURIST comment] to any attempts to classify the 1915 Armenian killings as genocide. Several other countries - including France, Canada and Argentina - have nonetheless passed laws or resolutions [BBC backgrounder] to that effect. AP has more.

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