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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Armenia Worries U.S. May Drop Genocide Resolution

WASHINGTON — Armenia's foreign minister says he is worried about high-level Turkish lobbying against a proposed congressional resolution that would recognize as genocide the early 20th century killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians.

Vardan Oskanian, in Washington on Monday for meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and members of the U.S. Congress on wide-ranging topics that included the proposed genocide resolution, said in an interview that Armenia felt compelled to discuss the resolution because of public warnings by Turkey against its passage.

"Governments should stay away from meddling in these matters," Oskanian said. "But when topics of interest for Armenia are being discussed, we cannot remain, as a government indifferent, particularly in light of Turkish lobbying at a government level."

The comments follow recent visits to Washington by top Turkish officials including Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who warned last month that the resolution, if passed, would harm Turkish-American relations.

The White House, which also sees the issue as a threat to relations with Turkey, has been trying to quash the legislation.

Armenian-American groups have been thwarted for years in efforts to get a resolution through Congress.

The bill, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in January, is thought to stand a much better chance of passing a floor vote, but would require support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be offered for consideration.