Turkey summons US envoy over Armenian genocide vote

People demonstrate outside the US embassy, on December 13, 2019 in Ankara, one day after US congress formally recognized the 1915-1917 murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians as genocide. (AFP)
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Updated 13 December 2019

Turkey summons US envoy over Armenian genocide vote

  • Armenia claims 1.5 million died in the killings
  • US is now in line with 30 other countries in recognizing Armenia’s claim of genocide

ISTANBUL: Turkey summoned the US ambassador on Friday after the US Senate voted to recognize the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide.

Deputy foreign minister Sedat Onal delivered the government’s reaction to envoy David Satterfield, said the foreign ministry, after Turkish officials warned that the vote endangered relations.

American senators followed the House of Representatives in voting to recognize the killings of Armenians during the First World War as genocide, for which the Ottoman Empire — the forerunner of modern-day Turkey — bore responsibility.

Armenia claims 1.5 million died in the killings. Turkey says the number of deaths was far lower and Turks also died, blaming the killings on the First World War.

The US is now in line with 30 other countries in recognizing Armenia’s claim of genocide.

A US embassy spokesman in Ankara however told AFP that the Senate vote had not changed the administration’s position, pointing out that US President Donald Trump had stopped short of calling the killings genocide earlier this year.

The Congress resolution had been blocked several times by allies of Trump, who has sought a close relationship with NATO ally Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During a meeting in Washington last month, Trump said he was a “big fan” of Erdogan despite opposition from many in the Congress to the red-carpet welcome.

UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

Updated 24 September 2020

UAE, Israel discuss energy, infrastructure cooperation

  • They discussed possible investment opportunities in renewable energies

DUBAI/JERUSALEM: The energy ministers of the UAE and Israel discussed possible cooperation and investment opportunities, including natural gas exports to Europe, in a video call on Wednesday, Emirates state news agency WAM reported.
A statement said the two minster discussed possible investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, oil, gas and renewable energy, as the UAE plans to the shift toward green energies.
During the call, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail Al-Mazroui “reviewed the UAE Energy Strategy 2050, which is the first unified energy plan in the country that balances production and consumption aspects and global environmental obligations and ensures a comfortable economic environment for growth in all sectors.”
The two sides also focused on advanced technology companies in the field of energy and cybersecurity.
Israel and the UAE signed an agreement on Sept. 15 to establish diplomatic relations, an accord that Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in the statement presented a “historic opportunity” for energy development in the region.
“I spoke (with the UAE energy minister) on cooperating in linking power grids and developing the natural gas market for exports via pipeline to Europe ... as well as other projects,” an Israeli statement quoted Steinitz as saying.
The statement, released by Steinitz’s office, said he proposed the UAE join an Egypt-based energy forum that seeks to promote natural gas exports from the east Mediterranean.
“They (the UAE) said they would examine the issue,” the Israeli statement said.
Egypt, Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Italy and Jordan signed a charter on Tuesday establishing the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF).
The group unites regional rivals of Turkey, which has been locked in a bitter dispute with European Union members Greece and Cyprus over gas drilling rights in the region.
(With Reuters)