[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: WILLIAM J. CLINTON (2000-2001, Book III)]
[October 19, 2000]
[Pages 2225-2226]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

 Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on a Resolution 
on Armenian Genocide
 October 19, 2000

 Dear Speaker Hastert:
     I am writing to you to express my deep concern about H. Res. 596, 
dealing with the tragic events in eastern Anatolia under Ottoman rule in 
the years 1915-1923.
     Every year on April 24, I have commemorated Armenian Remembrance 
Day, mourning the deportations and massacres of innocent Armenians 
during that era. And every year, I have challenged all Americans to 
recommit themselves to ensuring that such horrors never occur again.
     However, I am deeply concerned that consideration of H. Res. 596 at 
this time could have far-reaching negative consequences for the United 
States. We have significant interests in this troubled region of the 
world: containing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein; working for peace 
and stability in the Middle East and Central Asia; stabilizing the 
Balkans; and developing new sources of energy. Consideration of the 
resolution at this sensitive time will not only negatively affect those 
interests, but could undermine efforts to encourage improved relations 
between Armenia and Turkey--the very goal the Resolution's sponsors seek 
to advance.
     We fully understand how strongly both Turkey and Armenia feel about 
this issue. Ultimately, this painful matter can only be resolved by both 
sides examining the past together.

[[Page 2226]]

     I urge you in the strongest terms not to bring this Resolution to 
the floor at this time.

                                                      William J. Clinton

  Note:  An original was not available for verification of the content 
of this letter.