‘Are We So Afraid about Turkey?’, Senator Menendez Asked after Senator Graham Blocked Senate’s Armenian Resolution: Video Clip

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WASHINGTON – On November 13, the day Turkish President Recep Erdogan was visiting Washington, D.C. Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) took the Senate floor and requested unanimous consent to bring the Armenian Genocide resolution for a vote. Senate Resolution 150 which reaffirms the fact of the Armenian Genocide, currently is at the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, which has not vote yet. However, Menendez suggested that the Committee “be discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 150 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.”

“This passed overwhelmingly, with strong Republican support in the House of Representatives,” Robert Menendez stated, referring to the adoption of the Armenian Genocide resolution (House Resolution 296) by the U.S. House on October 29. 

Following Menendez’s speech Senator Graham (R-S.C.) blocked the resolution from the voting. The Senate’s rules suggest that any one senator can ask for consent to pass a bill or resolution, but any one senator can block it. “I do hope that Turkey and Armenia can come together and deal with this problem,” Graham said, reiterating the Turkish perspective that a joint Armenian-Turkish commission should work on the Genocide topic.

Similarly, Turkey’s Erdogan referred to such a commission during his meeting with President Trump at the White House on November 13. “The decision makers in an incident that took about 104 years ago should not be the politicians but historians,” said Erdogan, stressing that Turkey stands for forming a historical commission.
However, further research indicates that Ankara plays the “commission” card only as a diplomatic trick whenever the Armenian resolutions are pending for the purpose of blocking the affirmation. Noteworthy, when Garo Paylan, member of the Turkish Parliament of Armenian descent suggested creation of a commission to investigate the killings of the Armenian legislators of Ottoman Turkey in 1915, Turkish parliament refused to do so. 
 
Graham’s move to block the resolution from voting draw attention of the U.S. media. The HillFox NewsNewsWeekLA TimesNational Review and other news outlets reported on this. Newsweek’s reporter contacted Armenian-American novelist Chris Bohjalian, who called Graham’s stance “utterly spineless and despicable.” “How can you be against a resolution acknowledging Genocide? Because you have no moral compass and put Turkey before the United States,” Bohjalian said. The same source quoted political satirist Jeremy Newberger who Tweeted: “When is a Genocide not Genocide? When @LindsayGrahamSC meets Turkey.”  
Earlier on Wednesday, November 13, Senator Graham met the president of Turkey at the White House. 
The video link provides the statements of Robert Menendez and Lindsay Graham and Senator Sherrod Browns (D.-OH) final words supporting Menendez. 

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