Two senior US officials promised that they would convey to Iraq Turkey's unease over Kurdish rebels in the north but they also expressed concern over the possibility of a Turkish military offensive in the region.
While in Moscow, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice acknowledged "a difficult time" in relations with Turkey. She appealed for restraint against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq and in Turkey's angry response to a genocide resolution in Congress.
Dan Fried, US assistant secretary of state for European affairs, and Eric Edelman, US undersecretary of defense for policy, met with Turkish officials on Saturday in a bid to assuage anger over the resolution, which would label the World War I-era killing of Armenians by Turks a genocide.
Turkey recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations after a House of Representatives committee's approval of the resolution last week and warned of serious repercussions if Congress passes the resolution.
The committee's approval raised concerns that Turkey may be less restrained about defying the US.
US officials said on Friday there are about 60,000 Turkish troops massed along the country's southern border with Iraq. But the US military has not seen activity to suggest an imminent offensive against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq who have been crossing the border to attack Turkish forces.
Turkey's parliament was expected to approve a government request to authorize an Iraq campaign as early as this week. The US is concerned a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq would disrupt one of the country's few relatively stable areas.
Kurdish rebels killed more than 15 Turkish soldiers in the past week and are blamed for an ambush that killed 12 people the week before. The government responded to the deaths by announcing tougher measures against the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has bases in northern Iraq and has been fighting the Turkish government since 1984.
Fried and Edelman promised to convey Turkey's concerns to Iraqi officials in the Kurdish region. At the same time, "we told our concerns" over any Turkish military incursion, Edelman told reporters in the capital Ankara after meeting Turkish Foreign Ministry officials.
Turkey's military preparations come amid concern in Washington that the genocide resolution could jeopardize supply routes the US military has used to move armored vehicles to troops in Iraq.
About 70 percent of US air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkey, as does about one-third of the fuel used by the US military there. US bases also get water and other supplies overland by Turkish truckers who cross into Iraq's north.
At issue in the resolution is the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Turkey denies that the World War I-era deaths constituted genocide and says the toll has been inflated.
Turkey also contends the dead were victims of civil war and unrest that killed Muslims as well as the overwhelmingly Christian Armenian population.
Fried promised the administration of US President George W. Bush would work to prevent the adoption of the resolution.
"We will do everything we can so that this resolution will not come to the House floor," he said in an interview with private NTV television.
The US officials flew to Ankara from Moscow, where they had been on the trip with Rice.
"Secretary of State Rice Condoleezza Rice asked us before we came here to express that the Bush administration is opposed to this resolution," said Edelman, who was the US ambassador to Turkey from 2003 to 2005.
Rice said she spoke on Friday by telephone with Turkey's president, prime minister and foreign minister about the genocide resolution.
"They were dismayed," she said.
"I urged restraint," she added, referring to both the reaction to the genocide resolution and in the situation in northern Iraq.
"The Turkish government, I think, is trying to react responsibly. They recognize how hard we worked to prevent that vote from taking place," Rice said.
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
Former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday said he “should not have been so cavalier” after he told a radio host that African Americans who back US President Donald Trump “ain’t black.” In a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.” “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” Biden faced criticism after his comments earlier on Friday on The Breakfast Club, a