WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) blocked a Senate resolution Wednesday that would have recognized the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turks hours after he and President Trump met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Graham objected to passing H.Res.296, according to The Hill, saying senators shouldn’t “sugarcoat history or try to rewrite it.” .
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., asked for consent to pass the resolution, which would have formally recognized the killing of more than a million Armenians between 1915 and 1923.
Menendez noted that he listened to President Trump’s press conference Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish president scolded a House-passed resolution recognizing the genocide and instead promised to “establish a history commission.”
“The United States foreign policy must reflect an honest accounting of human rights abuses, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. We cannot turn our backs on the Armenian victims of genocide,” he said, according to the politics website.
Under the Senate’s rules, any one senator can ask for consent to pass a bill or resolution, but any one senator can block it.
Graham’s objection came hours after he took part in a White House meeting with Trump, Erdogan and a group of GOP senators.
“I just met with President Erdogan and President Trump about the problems we face in Syria by the military incursion by Turkey. I do hope that Turkey and Armenia can come together and deal with this problem,” he added on the Senate floor.