WASHINGTON, March 30 (UPI) -- Ankara is invited to return its ambassador to Washington when it feels comfortable doing so, U.S. State Department officials said in Washington.
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs narrowly passed a non-binding resolution March 4 that classifies the 1915 killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire an act of genocide.
The Turkish government recalled Ambassador Namik Tan in protest of the vote.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke by phone this week with her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on bilateral ties. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected in Washington next month to attend the International Nuclear Security Summit.
Ankara warned that the passage of the Armenia measure could spell trouble for Turkish support for the U.S. war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ankara's relationship with Tehran, sure to be a factor in next month's summit, could be a factor as well.
U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, meanwhile, said that while Washington recognized the weight of the Armenian resolution, the Turkish envoy to Washington is welcome to return to his post.
"From our standpoint, we understand the reasons why Turkey recalled its ambassador and we hope that the ambassador will be returned as quickly as Turkey feels comfortable," he said.