Washington briefing: Turkey prepares ground for U.S. ties under new administration

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Saturday December 13, 2008

Turkish officials and commentators have been actively reminding Washington of their country's importance to the United States, ahead of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

In recent weeks, in addition to visits by senior Turkish officials, Washington-based pundits held a number of public events that highlighted Turkey's priorities in relations with the United States and Europe. Opinion pieces on U.S.-Turkish relations appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, and Christian Science Monitor. A Turkish lobby group presented awards to three members of congress.

The longstanding effort to prevent a change in the administration's position on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - something that Mr. Obama promised repeatedly to bring about - is among top Turkish priorities.

According to media reports, Turkish President Abdullah Gül will again seek to recruit Jewish-American opposition to an Armenian Genocide resolution during a visit to Israel early next year.

Finally, according to Chicago Tribune, Mr. Obama may be considering Turkey as the site for a major address within his first 100 days in office that would focus on U.S. policy in the Middle East.

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Aleppo citadel - site of the AGBU celebration in Oct. 2008 (pictured) - is now in ruins. AGBU

Calendar of Events

The uncertain fate of Armenian communities in the Middle East and particularly in Aleppo will be discussed on Sept. 29 in LA and Oct. 9 in Boston; for details about these and other upcoming Armenian happenings in America consult the Calendar of Events.