Granger: Armenian Genocide Resolution Poses Grave Risk to National Security Interests
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth), Co-chair of the Congressional Turkey Caucus and Vice Chair of the Republican Conference, today issued the following statement following the House Committee on Foreign Affairs markup of H.Res.106, a resolution that would label the deaths of Armenians more than 90 years ago during the Ottoman Empire as “genocide.”
“It is clear that hundreds of thousands if not millions of Armenian men, women and children died during and immediately after World War I.  What is less clear is how or why these deaths occurred.
“While I do not seek to minimize the historical significance of the atrocities and murders perpetrated against Armenians from 1915 to 1923 as described in H. Res. 106, rushing to label these events as genocide would have a severely negative effect on US-Turkish relations and put American national security interests at stake.
“Turkey currently provides the U.S. military with access to Turkish airspace, military bases and the border crossing with Iraq, acting as a crucial linchpin in the transshipment of vital cargo and fuel resources to U.S. troops, coalition partners and Iraqi civilians. Turkish troops serve shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. and other NATO allies in the Balkans and Turkey acts as a transit hub for non-OPEC oil and gas, remaining key to our efforts to help the Euro-Atlantic community bolster its energy security.
“Passage of this resolution would be considered a major affront which may result in Turkey closing the Incirlik Air Base, restricting U.S. use of its airspace, cutting off supply shipments to U.S. troops in Iraq that pass through Turkey, excluding further procurement of U.S. defense equipment and withdrawing their application for membership in the EU.  Turkey will also view U.S. passage as a ‘rejection by the West’ which could result in the radical nationalist factions gaining power in Turkey.
“Given the importance of our relationship with Turkey, passing a resolution whose conclusion has not been proven is unconscionable. I stand with all eight living, former Secretaries of State and three former defense secretaries in firmly opposing this resolution. I will continue to fight for its defeat in the House.”