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Politics Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide

02:30  23 april  2021
02:30  23 april  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Officials: Biden preparing to recognize Armenian genocide at hands of Ottoman Turks

  Officials: Biden preparing to recognize Armenian genocide at hands of Ottoman Turks The anticipated move could further complicate an already tense relationship with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Administration officials had not informed Turkey as of Wednesday, and Biden could still change his mind, according to one official. The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. © Evan Vucci, AP President Joe Biden walks off after speaking about COVID-19 vaccinations at the White House on April 21, 2021, in Washington.

Lawmakers on Thursday issued statements of praise for President Biden following reports that he plans to officially recognize the killing of more than 1 million Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire more than a cent. The statement by Biden , expected to come on or before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on Saturday, would make him the first U.S. president to officially recognize the multiyear ethnic cleansing campaign as a genocide , though the Times noted Wednesday that President Reagan made a reference to the genocide once in 1981 when discussing the Holocaust.

A bipartisan group of 107 U.S. House Members on Wednesday called on President Biden to “clearly and directly recognize the Armenian Genocide ” in his upcoming April 24 statement, ending Turkey’s foreign gag-rule against honest U.S. remembrance of this crime, reported the Armenian National Committee of America. Members of Congress co-signed a letter to President Biden spearheaded by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the Congressional Armenian Caucus leadership. The letter cites President Biden ’s decades of efforts to reset U.S. policy on the Armenian Genocide .

Lawmakers on Thursday issued statements of praise for President Biden following reports that he plans to officially recognize the killing of more than 1 million Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire more than a century ago as a genocide.

Bob Menendez sitting on a table: Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide © Greg Nash Lawmakers praise Biden for expected recognition of Armenian Genocide

The New York Times first reported the plans Wednesday, citing sources familiar with the matter, and U.S. officials later shared details on the anticipated move with The Associated Press.

The statement by Biden, expected to come on or before Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on Saturday, would make him the first U.S. president to officially recognize the multiyear ethnic cleansing campaign as a genocide, though the Times noted Wednesday that President Reagan made a reference to the genocide once in 1981 when discussing the Holocaust.

What's behind Armenians' long battle to secure a U.S. designation of genocide?

  What's behind Armenians' long battle to secure a U.S. designation of genocide? A prospective U.S. designation of Armenian genocide is bitterly opposed by Turkey but supported by many members of Congress.This far-reaching yet deeply intimate trauma has echoed down through the generations, including in the large Armenian diaspora in Southern California. As is done every year, Saturday will be solemnly observed in Armenia and by the diaspora around the world as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

President Joe Biden is poised to formally recognize the Armenian genocide on Saturday, The New York Times reported per officials familiar with deliberations on the matter, in a historic move that could further roil US-Turkey relations. Biden would be the first sitting US president to officially recognize the killing As a candidate, Biden promised to recognize the mass killings as genocide . On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers led by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California sent the president a letter urging him to deliver on this pledge. When asked about the letter at Wednesday's

Armenian Genocide recognition is the formal acceptance that the systematic massacres and forced deportation of Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, during and after the First World War, constituted genocide .

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who last month led a bipartisan coalition of nearly 40 lawmakers calling on Biden to officially recognize the genocide, said in a statement Thursday that he was "honored and incredibly moved" by the president's "reported decision to end over a century of official erasure of one of the darkest events in human history."

"After three decades of leading this fight in Congress, I am proud the U.S. government is poised to finally be able to say it without any euphemism: genocide is genocide," Menendez added. "Plain and simple."

Saturday will mark the 106th anniversary of the start of the years-long attacks against Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, which began during World War I and lasted until 1922.

Biden's Armenian genocide recognition ramps up US-Turkey tensions

  Biden's Armenian genocide recognition ramps up US-Turkey tensions President Biden's decision to recognize the Armenian genocide is being welcomed by the community and its supporters as a long-overdue step in standing up for human rights, though the move carries with it risks to the U.S. relationship with Turkey.Biden's announcement follows through on a campaign promise to use the Oval Office to formally acknowledge the systematic deportation and killing in the early 20th century of almost 2 million Armenians and other minorities at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, which is present-day Turkey.

President Biden is preparing to formally acknowledge that the systematic killing and deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in modern-day Turkey more than a century ago was genocide , according to U.S. officials.

Biden is likely going to use the word " genocide " as part of a statement on April 24 when annual commemorations for the victims are held around the world, three sources familiar with the matter said. A year ago, while still a presidential candidate, Biden commemorated the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who lost their lives in the final years of the Ottoman Empire and said he would back efforts to recognize those killings as a genocide . "Today, we remember the atrocities faced by the Armenian people in the Metz Yeghern — the Armenian Genocide .

Menendez added Thursday that he was "deeply grateful for and inspired by the Armenian American community's persistence in ensuring the Armenian genocide is recognized as an irrefutable fact of history - accepted by the United States and the rest of the world."

"Having the full U.S. government affirm the facts of the Armenian Genocide will send a strong signal that the truth and human rights, not ignorance and denial, shape our foreign policy," the New Jersey senator added.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who was also one of the senators to sign on to last month's letter to Biden, said Thursday that the reports on Biden's plans were "great news."

"It's a long time coming and a step that I have called on presidents of both parties to take," Schumer said in remarks from the Senate floor. "Each year, I gather with Armenian Americans in Times Square to commemorate the annual anniversary of this atrocity, and every year, my heart breaks for the victims of the genocide and their descendants."

Biden has formally recognized the Armenian genocide, becoming the first US president to do so

  Biden has formally recognized the Armenian genocide, becoming the first US president to do so "Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide," Biden said in a statement."Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring," Biden said in a statement published Saturday by The White House in recognition of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.

“I expect we will have more to say about Remembrance Day on Saturday,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday when asked about Biden ’s commitment. “But I don't have anything to get ahead of that at this point in time.” In a letter Wednesday, a bipartisan group of 100 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this week a move by Biden to recognize the killings as genocide would harm relations between the NATO allies. Historians say an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire — the predecessor to modern-day Turkey

Thus Biden 's recognition will mark a major break from all predecessors, who didn't want to rile relations with the powerful NATO ally. According to to further details from the Associated Press , "The anticipated move — something Biden had pledged to do as a candidate — could further complicate an already Administration officials had not informed Turkey as of Wednesday, and Biden could still change his mind , according to one official." Biden 's USAID Administrator Nominee Samantha Power weighed in on Wednesday Telling the truth, and standing up to bullies and genocide deniers, will be

Other lawmakers took to Twitter to express their praise, including Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who noted that he has co-authored resolutions in the California State Legislature and in Congress calling for formal genocide recognition.

"Thank you @POTUS for recognizing the truth and for your courage in stating it," Lieu tweeted.

U.S. presidents have long resisted labeling the Ottoman Empire's actions against Armenians a genocide, as it will likely provoke Turkey, whose government acknowledges that there were killings of many Armenians during World War I but has pushed back on characterizing them as a genocide.

On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu warned that any genocide recognition from the U.S. could negatively impact U.S.-Turkey relations.

"Statements that have no legal binding will have no benefit, but they will harm ties," Çavuşoğlu said. "If the United States wants to worsen ties, the decision is theirs."

Global praise for Biden's stance on Armenia, followed by Turkish anger .
Armenia and human rights advocates around the globe applauded Biden’s move, while Turkey responded with furor.Supporters of the Turkey Youth Union chant slogans during a protest against US President Joe Biden's statement, outside the US consulate in Istanbul, April 26, 2021. On Saturday, Biden followed through on a campaign promise to recognize the events that began in 1915 and killed an estimated 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians as genocide. The statement was carefully crafted to say the deportations, massacres and death marches took place in the Ottoman Empire.

usr: 1
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