WASHINGTON, DC — The Trump administration opposes Turkey sanctions adopted by the House last week as well as a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide, arguing that the two initiatives risk further straining relations with a key NATO ally, a senior State Department official said, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
The administration is concerned that the sanctions — passed 403-16 in the House last week in response to the Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria — will tie its hands and cut off options to resolve U.S. concerns about Turkey’s actions, said the official, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. The official wouldn’t say whether President Donald Trump intends to veto the bill.
The measure, H.R. 4695, would sanction senior Turkish officials and prohibit them from entering the U.S. It would also bar the transfer of U.S. defense materiel to Turkey for use in Syria, and it would require the Pentagon and State Department to submit plans to prevent the resurgence of Islamic State.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called the Senate on Tuesday to pass S.Res.150, the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
“And as momentum builds following the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution in the House of Representatives, Turkey and its lobbyists are working overtime to block it in the Senate,” he said.
“The Armenian genocide happened. It was a monstrous act, and those who deny it are complicit in a terrible lie,” he continued. “Genocide is genocide. The Senate should not bow to this pressure, it cannot bow to this pressure. Let’s pass this resolution today.”
The state department and the White House opposes the passing of the resolution in the Senate to condemn the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by the Ottoman Empire.
The timing of the resolution could lead to it being seen as punitive rather than principled, the unnamed official told Bloomberg.