Lindsey Graham speaks during the hearing on May 8, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AFP Photo)
The U.S. Senate failed to approve a controversial resolution passed by the House of Representatives on 1915 events after South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham blocked it following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Republican Sen. opposed H.Res.296, saying that senators should not “sugarcoat history or try to rewrite it,” The Hill reported.
“I just met with President Erdoğan and President Trump about the problems we face in Syria by the military incursion by Turkey. I do hope that Turkey and Armenia can come together and deal with this problem,” he was quoted as saying on the Senate floor and added that he was against the resolution “not because of the past but because of the future.”
Turkish officials strongly condemned the resolution adopted by the U.S. House of Representatives on 1915 events, saying that it would significantly damage bilateral relations between the two countries in a turbulent region at such a critical period.
The U.S. House of Representatives adopted resolution H.R.296 entitled “Affirming the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide” and a bill that imposes sanctions on Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria.
Turkey recognizes that some Armenians, who sided with invading Russians to revolt against Ottoman forces, died in eastern Anatolia in 1915 following the relocation process. Turkey acknowledges that both sides suffered casualties during World War I while describing it as a tragedy for both sides. Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint historical commission to shed light on the incidents, but Armenia has refused to do so.