- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2009

ANKARA, TURKEY (AP) - President Barack Obama says he is not pressing Turkish leaders to acknowledge that their country committed genocide against Armenians during World War I because he does not want to interfere with negotiations on the matter.

Obama said Monday he stood by his 2008 assertion that Ottoman Turks carried out widespread killings of Armenians decades ago. But he said he would not press Turkish leaders to acknowledge that genocide took place because Turks and Armenians are engaged in talks that may bear fruit soon.

Obama said at a news conference in Ankara, “I want to be as encouraging as possible.”

Turkish President Abdullah Gul stood next to Obama. He said historians, not politicians, should decide how to label what happened nearly a century ago.

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