US-Turkish Group Reschedules Conference in October

US-Turkish Group Reschedules Conference in October
# 06 May 2010 03:54 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. The American-Turkish Council, or ATC, a group seeking to bolster political and business relations between the United States and Turkey, moved Monday to reschedule its annual conference on Ankara-Washington ties for October, APA reports quoting web-page.
The conference, which was originally planned between April 11 and 14, had been canceled in the wake of a March move by the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee to endorse an Armenian "genocide" resolution.
In response to the committee’s decision, the Ankara government suspended visits by several senior officials to the United States. As a result the ATC had to cancel the conference.
But as weeks passed by, the resolution went nowhere and U.S. President Barack Obama, in his annual statement on the "Armenian Remembrance Day" on April 24 declined to use the term "genocide" to describe alleged World War I-era killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
As a result the Ankara-Washington relationship returned to normal, and the ATC announced in a written statement early Monday that the conference now will be held in Washington between Oct. 17 and 20.
The ATC has been organizing its annual U.S.-Turkish ties conference in the U.S. capital for 28 years. Each year, top Turkish and U.S. civilian and military officials attend and speak at the meetings.
Some of the ATC’s major members include top U.S. defense companies.
The United States, a NATO ally, remains the largest weapons supplier for Turkey. Among top U.S. defense companies, Lockheed Martin expects to sell to Turkey defense systems worth over $15 billion over the next decade.
The ATC’s chairman is Dick Armitage, deputy secretary of state during former U.S. president George W. Bush’s first term between 2001 and 2005.