A Republican and a Democrat have introduced a Senate resolution that would compel the administration to tackle a yet-unfulfilled Obama 2008 campaign promise: recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Obama has carefully avoided using the term “genocide” to mark each April 24 Genocide Remembrance Day despite promising in a Jan. 19, 2008, campaign statement “as president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) yesterday introduced a resolution to recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide.
“The Armenian Genocide is well-documented and formally recognized by 11 NATO allies and the European Union,” said a spokesman for Kirk, who is still recovering from a stroke. “This resolution accurately characterizes the events of 1915-1923 as a genocide, honors the memory of the victims, and strengthens America’s moral leadership on human rights and the prevention of mass atrocities around the world.”
Similar efforts in the House have provoked angry reaction from Turkey and pushback from the Congressional Turkish Caucus, which has about 125 members.
“It is time for the United States to join the nineteen nations including Belgium, Canada, France, Italy and the European Union that have formally recognized the actions carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 as genocide,” Menendez said. “The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact and was one of the incidents upon which the Genocide Convention was predicated. Only by accurately acknowledging the crimes of the past can we ever hope to move forward in a legitimate manner and prevent such human rights crimes from happening in the future.”