Turkey Pulls Ambassador Over Genocide Vote

Thursday, March 04, 2010

A House committee has passed a resolution describing as genocide the killing of Armenians by Turkish forces during World War One and Turkey responded by recalling its ambassador from Washington.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed the resolution with a 23-22 vote. The resolution calls on President Barack Obama to label the World War I killings as "genocide" in his annual statement on the issue.

As the BBC reports, Turkey and Armenia signed a landmark agreement normalizing relations after decades of hostility. The White House had warned the vote would harm further reconciliation talks.

The incident could harm relations between the U.S. and Turkey, one of America's closest allies in the Muslim world. The U.S. may also want to pull troops out of Iraq via Turkey, a route which would be more direct and less costly.  President Obama promised during the 2008 campaign to call the mass killings genocide.

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