Monday, April 26, 2010

Armenian Genocide: Obama's reaffirmation of genocide can bring Turkey closer to reconciliation

PanARMENIAN.Net - In his just issued April 24, 2010 statement, President Barack Obama commemorated the victims of the Armenian Genocide, reiterated that his view on the Armenian Genocide has not changed, expanded on his 2009 statement, and again used the Armenian term for the Armenian Genocide Meds Yeghern, Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) reported.

April 24 of each year marks the date when the Ottoman Turkish Empire began the elimination of Christian Armenians in the first genocide of the 20th century. In today's statement, President Obama said "I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. It is in all of our interest to see the achievement a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts. The Meds Yeghern is a devastating chapter in the history of the Armenian people, and we must keep its memory alive in honor of those who were murdered and so that we do not repeat the grave mistakes of the past." The full statement is reproduced below.

This statement was issued in the environment of an increasingly widespread well-funded denial campaign by the Turkish government, Prime Minister Erdogan's threat to deport Armenians living in Turkey, and the suspension of signed agreements to normalize Turkish-Armenian relations because of Turkey's non-compliance with the Swiss brokered deal heavily supported by the United States, Russia, France and the European Union.

Earlier this month, the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Eastern), the Diocese of the Armenian Church (Western) and the Assembly in a joint statement urged President Obama to use the English term rather than employ the Armenian term for the Armenian Genocide in his April 24 statement. President Obama's reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, the joint statement also said can only help to heal the wounds of denial, and bring Turkey one step closer toward true reconciliation. In March, the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairman Howard Berman's (D-CA) leadership passed the Armenian Genocide Resolution, which sets the stage for passage by the full House.

"We have long stated that U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide should not be held hostage to Armenia-Turkey relations. In 1981, President Reagan clearly reaffirmed the U.S. position when in his April 22 Proclamation, he used the English term--Armenian Genocide," stated the Assembly's Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. "Unequivocal affirmation of the Armenian Genocide will also further the cause of genocide prevention worldwide and be more faithful to American principles," Ardouny concluded.

See also Sydney Irresistible and Mike Hitchen Unleashed
Putting principles before profits