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AFP
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Sunday there was a "risk" that US President Barack Obama would recognize the massacre of Armenians a century ago as genocide.

But Babacan said in an interview with the NTV television channel that such a move would only impede efforts to reconcile Turkey and Armenia.

Obama, who is expected to visit Turkey in April, said several times during his election campaign that he would recognize the 1915-1917 massacres under the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The United States has previously condemned the killings while not calling them genocide to avoid tensions with Turkey, a NATO member and key Middle East ally.

"I still see a risk," Babacan said. "Mr. Obama made the promise five times in a row." He added however that "The new American administration understands Turkey's sensibilities better today" and called on the United States not to interfere in the dispute between the neighbors.

"It would not be rational for a third country to take a position on this topic. A bad step by the United States would only worsen the process" of reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced during a visit to Ankara on Saturday that Obama would visit Turkey "within the next month or so". The visit is expected in April.
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