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In Turkey on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced the French bill as “discriminatory and racist.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu over the weekend threatened France with “permanent sanctions” if the assembly adopted the bill.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57 Muslim-majority nations, accused the French of approving the bill for “political and electoral gain” to win support from some 500,000 ethnic Armenians in France.

“We reject this law and consider it to be inconsistent with historical fact,” the group said.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to sign the bill within two weeks, his office announced in Paris on Tuesday, while Foreign Minister Alain Juppe appealed to France’s “Turkish friends” to stay calm.

BEIJING’S VALENTINE?

Will the man expected to be China’s next leader bring a heart-shaped box of chocolates when he meets President Obama on Valentine’s Day - or a long list of complaints about U.S.-Chinese relations?

The White House this week announced that Vice President Xi Jinping will be a guest of Vice President Joe Biden’s on Feb. 14 and will meet with Mr. Obama.

Mr. Xi is due to take over as president and leader of the Chinese Communist Party when President Hu Jintao retires next year.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes. com. The column is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.