RENEWED PUSH FOR GENOCIDE BILL.
WASHINGTON -- The e-mail early Wednesday from the Armenian National Committee of America was positively enthusiastic.
``It's just past 1:30 a.m. on election night and I'm wide awake,'' Chairman Ken Hachikian wrote to the organization's members as news networks projected the Democratic Party takeover in the U.S. House.
Hachikian and others said they now see a hopeful future for passage of Armenian issues in Congress, including a hotly disputed resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
``Our chances are excellent,'' agreed Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly for America.
The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, passed the House Foreign Relations Committee this year, but Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert blocked it from a full House vote.
As recently as last week, Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, expressed support for the bill.
``I think the prospects for passage of the genocide resolution just got much, much better,'' Schiff said.
Armenians contend that the Ottoman Empire began an orchestrated slaughter in 1915 in which about 1.5 million Armenians were killed.
Turkey denies that it was a genocide, saying about 300,000 were killed and noting that Armenians sided with invading Russian troops in the aftermath of World War I and took up arms against Turks.
Bural Gengiz, president of the American Turkish Association of America, said he believes Pelosi will consider Turkey's alliance with the U.S. and its position as a NATO ally when the genocide issue next arises.
Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, who co-sponsored the Armenian genocide resolution but did not push GOP leaders to bring it to the floor, was circumspect about predicting the bill's future.
``There will clearly be a discussion on that,'' Dreier said.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Nov 9, 2006|
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