Philip Gordon on the Armenian Genocide resolution
Published: Wednesday June 10, 2009
Yerevan - Philip Gordon, who was confirmed May 15 as the new U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, had been, since 2000, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, one of the more prominent Washington think tanks. In October 2006, Mr. Gordon co-wrote with his Brookings colleague Omer Taspinar a commentary criticizing a French legislative proposal that would criminalize denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Speaking at an Istanbul conference on June 2, 2008, about the prospects for an Armenian Genocide resolution under an Obama administration, Mr. Gordon had said, "I would encourage our Turkish friends to not only be prepared to fight [the resolution] as they no doubt will, but to have a plan B in mind if it passes because that might well happen whatever anyone thinks of the substance of it" - as Emil Sanamyan noted in the Armenian Reporter on March 14, 2009.
Asked by the Armenian Reporter at a Yerevan news conference on June 9, 2009, whether he still encouraged his Turkish friends to fight the resolution, or whether his views had changed since assuming the position of assistant secretary, Mr. Gordon disputed the accuracy of the quote.
"What I was suggesting to the Turkish audience at that time was that the trends in the United States were such that there was a significant prospect that Congress or the administration would pass a Genocide resolution and what I said was do what you do; you will no doubt continue to try to lobby against this; it's a democracy and what countries do; but understand that you might have not success this year," Mr. Gordon said.