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Support Declines for Armenian Genocide Bill


Several U.S. lawmakers have changed their minds about supporting a pending resolution that labels Turkey's 1915 killing of Armenians as genocide.

The decline in support of the resolution casts doubt on whether it will be approved by Congress.

At a news conference in Washington Wednesday, President Bush called on Congress to drop the resolution, which he describes as counterproductive.

Turkey's military chief General Yasar Buyukanit has warned the United States that the alliance between the two nations will be at risk if the House of Representatives approves the non-binding measure. The resolution's passage could also prompt Turkey to scale back its assistance in the Iraq war.

The measure was approved last week by the House of Foreign Affairs Committee.

Armenians accuse Ottoman Turks of massacring 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923 in systematic deportations and killings to drive them out of eastern Turkey. Turkey denies that genocide took place. It calls the death toll exaggerated and says the Armenians died in civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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