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U.S. President Barack Obama, on his first day of visit to Turkey, said his views on mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915, which he has termed genocide, have not changed.
“My views are on the record and I have not changed those
views,” he told a joint news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, according to Reuters.
However, Obama said he prefers not to focus on his views, in an attempt to be more encouraging around the Armenia-Turkey border opening talks.
“I want to be as encouraging as possible around those negotiations which are moving forward and could bear fruit very quickly, very soon, so as a consequence what I want to do is not focus on my views right now.” Obama said, seeking to strike a balance over the issue while adding pressure on the talks.
Gul, who has spearheaded talks between Ankara and Yerevan,
also said he expected them to bear fruit soon.[Reuters]
In a very interesting analysis by Robert Fisk on The Independent, we are reminded of what exactly Obama’s views are on the Armenian Genocide issue:
“The Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that president.”