The four primary sponsors of the House resolution to label the 1915 killings of Armenians in Turkey as genocide have withdrawn support, formally asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay voting on the measure, the AP reports. Enthusiasm for the resolution withered after Turkey withdrew its US ambassador and threatened to block US military access to a critical Turkish airbase used to support operations in Iraq.
The resolution's passage by a House committee earlier this month prompted outraged demonstrations in Turkey, where the government insists the killings were due to civil unrest, not genocide. Confrontations between Turkish soldiers and Kurdish militants along the border with Iraq, which Turkey has threatened to invade, have added to the tension. Still, lawmakers said they might bring the bill back for consideration later this year or in 2008.