U.S. House Speaker says Genocide recognition not on agenda

U.S. House Speaker says Genocide recognition not on agenda

PanARMENIAN.Net - Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner paid a surprise visit to Ankara where he assured Turkish leaders that the latest bill to recognize the Armenian Genocide will not be brought onto the legislative agenda.

“The issue about Armenians comes up from time to time, but our Congress will not get involved in this issue. We don’t write history, we are not historians,” Boehner told reporters after meeting Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek on April 15, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Boehner said bilateral ties between the two countries should be enhanced, and that the U.S. was grateful for Turkey’s support on issues in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, adding that further cooperation between the two countries could still be developed in trade.

According to Today's Zaman, Çiçek claimed that Turkey is "ready to face its history, yet if parliaments make decisions on historical issues, it may hamper bilateral relations between the countries involved."

For the first time in nearly a quarter century, a U.S. Senate committee on April 10, adopted an Armenian Genocide Resolution, calling upon the Senate to commemorate this crime and encouraging the President to ensure that America’s foreign policy reflects and reinforces the lessons, documented in the U.S. record, of the still-unpunished genocide.

With a vote of 12 to 5, the Committee voted to condemn and commemorate the Armenian Genocide.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) spearheaded the effort to have this influential foreign policy panel speak clearly regarding the Ottoman Turkish Government’s centrally planned and systematically carried out campaign of genocide from 1915-1923, which resulted in the deaths of over 1.5 million men, women and children.

Photo: AA
The Armenian Genocide resolution

The resolution affirming the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide (H.Res.252) was formally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-CA), George Radanovich (R.-CA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D.-NJ), and Mark Kirk (R.-Ill). On March 4, 2010 it was adopted with a 22-21 vote by the House Committee on Foreign Relations. A similar resolution was introduced in the Senate.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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