A U.S. congressman has submitted a resolution urging President Barack Obama to work toward reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia.
"The House of Representatives calls on the president to work toward equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations for the next 100 years, based upon the two countries' common interests and the United States' significant security interests in the region," read the resolution by Republican Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas.
Armenia and the Armenian community have for decades denounced Turkey with respect to the events in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire relocated Armenians following revolts, particularly in eastern Anatolia, that resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey does not dispute casualties among Armenian and Turkish communities during World War I, but it has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens.
Many American lawmakers close to the Armenian community have adopted anti-Turkey positions when it comes to the events of 1915.
While several bills have been previously submitted to Congress demanding the recognition of those events as genocide, Sessions’ resolution is the first of its kind that supports the Turkish position.
“This resolution is a positive effort to create a much-needed future for Turks and Armenians in the United States and across the world,” said former Democratic Rep. Solomon Ortiz, who currently serves as an advisor to the Turkish Institute for Progress.
“During the 28 years that I served in Congress, there was never a resolution like this one that advanced reconciliation between these two countries,” said the congressman who left the U.S. House in 2011. “This measure hopes to end the century of divisiveness while strengthening the national security interests of the United States,” he added.
The resolution by Sessions comes in the wake of last week’s centennial anniversary of the 1915 events. It was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.