Rep. Mark Kirk is waiting for Speaker’s decision on Genocide resolution
Denies media report that he claimed it “will not pass”
by Emil Sanamyan
Published: Thursday April 02, 2009
Rep. Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) who has been selected as co-chair of the House Caucus on Armenian Issues late last year.
Washington, - Rep. Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.), co-chair of the congressional Armenian caucus, says that he remains hopeful about the progress of the Armenian Genocide resolution and was misquoted by the Turkish media about it.
"My hope is that we get this resolution to [a vote on] on the floor and that we adopt it," Mr. Kirk told the Armenian Reporter on April 2. But, he added, "I don't know when Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi is going to put this resolution on the floor. We are all waiting for the Speaker to tell us."
"My hope is that [Speaker Pelosi] puts the resolution on the floor," he said. "President [Barack] Obama said that he is for this resolution and campaign promises should matter."
Together with Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), George Radanovich (R.-Calif.) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D.-N.J.), Mr. Kirk is an original co-sponsor of House Resolution 252 affirming the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, which is currently co-sponsored by 85 additional members of the House of Representatives.
On April 2, the English version of Hurriyet daily published a translated excerpt of an interview with Rep. Kirk published the same day in the daily Aksam in Turkish.
The excerpt quoted Rep. Kirk as saying, "Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi will not dare pass the bill. She will not place Obama in a difficult position. The bill will not pass, don't worry."
When asked about this line, Mr. Kirk said that it was "quite an addition to what I said."
While confirming that he spoke with Aksam newspaper correspondent Nagehan Alci, Mr. Kirk said the quote was inaccurate.
"When my words were translated from English to Turkish and then back to English, I did not recognize them anymore," Mr. Kirk said. "The interview made it sound like I was not a supporter of the resolution. Not only I am supporter, but I am a lead Republican supporter."
The Armenian Reporter's request for Ms. Alci to comment made shortly before press time has not yet been answered.
UPDATE: In a private communication to this author, Ms. Alci conceded there was some mistranslation, but insisted the gist of her reporting - that Rep. Kirk sounded less than hopeful about the resolution's chances - was accurate.