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AFP
November 15, 2019

After meeting Erdogan, US senator blocks genocide measure

World

AFP
November 15, 2019

WASHINGTON: A US Republican lawmaker who met with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blocked a Senate resolution recognising the Armenian genocide, after a similar measure overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives.

Senator Lindsey Graham prevented a Democrat’s effort to pass the resolution by unanimous consent barely an hour after Graham -- a fierce critic of Turkey’s recent invasion of Syria -- met with Erdogan and US President Donald Trump Wednesday at the White House. Graham said his objection to the measure was not "to sugarcoat history or try to rewrite it, but to deal with the present."

The South Carolina senator, who has been a loyal Trump footsoldier but broke with the president on his withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria, pointed to the status of negotiations on Turkey’s invasion and "some hope that maybe we can resolve things."

Graham’s block raised Democrats’ ire Thursday. "If you can’t call out genocide, what do you stand for, @LindseyGrahamSC?" tweeted House Democrat Katherine Clark. Senator Robert Menendez, the Democrat who sought unanimous resolution for the measure, said he has repeatedly introduced or co-sponsored such legislation since 2006. "Despite yesterday’s objection to my resolution, I won’t stop fighting until the Senate finally recognizes this historical fact," he said.

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