Friday, March 5, 2010

Turkey says U.S. genocide vote endangers Caucasus peace

clipped from
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses the media in Ankara March 5, 2010. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkey and its fellow Muslim ally, Azerbaijan, saw the U.S. vote undermining efforts to stabilize the South Caucasus, a volatile region with pipelines taking oil and gas to the West.

"This decision will not bring peace to the Caucasus," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference hours after Turkey recalled its ambassador from Washington.

Turkish leaders reacted with fury after the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee narrowly passed a non-binding resolution that tarred their grandfathers with the same crime as Nazi Germany.

President Barack Obama had made a last ditch attempt to get the House panel to drop a resolution that would anger a valuable NATO ally, whose support was important for U.S. interests in Iran, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Some European leaders have discouraged Turkey's bid for EU membership.

Late last month Azerbaijan warned that a "great war" in the South Caucasus was inevitable if Armenian forces did not withdraw.

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