Turkey pulls envoy after U.S. vote on "genocide" label





A U.S. congressional panel voted on Thursday to label as "genocide" the World War One-era massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador from Washington.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted 23-22 to approve the non-binding resolution, which calls on President Barack Obama to ensure U.S. policy formally refers to the killings as genocide.

The action cleared the way for the measure to be considered by the full House but it was unclear whether it would actually come to a vote there. The Obama administration and Turkey had pressed lawmakers to drop the matter.

The vote triggered an immediate condemnation from Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who recalled Turkey's ambassador to Washington for consultations. Erdogan said he worried the measure would harm Turkish-U.S. ties and efforts by Muslim Turkey and Christian Armenia to end a century of hostility.

The vote put Obama in a tight spot between his desire to maintain good relations with Turkey, a Muslim but secular democracy that plays a vital role for U.S. interests from Iran to Afghanistan to the Middle East.

On the one side is NATO ally Turkey, which rejects calling the events genocide. On the other side is an important U.S. Armenian-American constituency and their backers in Congress ahead of congressional elections in November....


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