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Obama not to recognize Armenian Genocide in reckless retreat: ANCA

Obama not to recognize Armenian Genocide in reckless retreat: ANCA

PanARMENIAN.Net - White House National Security Council officials informed the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) that President Barack Obama will refrain from properly commemorating the Armenian Genocide, as he had promised to do as a candidate, in his eighth and final “Armenian Remembrance Day” statement, set to be released in the next few days, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) said.

“It seems President Obama will end his tenure as he began it, caving in to pressure from Turkey and betraying his commitment to speak honestly about the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, who met with the officials along with Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian.

“President Obama's unwillingness to reject Turkey’s gag-rule on the Armenian Genocide or otherwise confront the growing regional wave of anti-Armenian aggression - particularly at a time when both Ankara and Baku are placing targets on the backs of Armenians in Artsakh, Armenia, Turkey, the Middle East, and across our Diaspora - represents something far worse than simply a betrayal of his own promise. His reckless retreat from America's anti-genocide commitments - under pressure from Turkey and Azerbaijan - in the face of their open incitement, outright aggression, and other classic genocide red flags - emboldens Erdogan and Aliyev to escalate their hostility, raising the very real risk of large-scale anti-Armenian atrocities. This, sadly, is President Obama's legacy - silence on the Armenian Genocide, complicity in Turkey's denials, and encouragement of Azerbaijani aggression.”

Prior to his election to the oval office, President Obama was clear and unequivocal in promising to properly characterize Ottoman Turkey’s murder of over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children between 1915 and 1923 as genocide.

In a January 19, 2008, statement he wrote: “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

President Obama has broken that pledge in annual Armenian Remembrance Day statements issued on or near April 24, the international day of commemoration of this crime.

The U.S. first recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951 through a filing which was included in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Report titled: “Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

The specific reference to the Armenian Genocide appears on page 25 of the ICJ Report: “The Genocide Convention resulted from the inhuman and barbarous practices which prevailed in certain countries prior to and during World War II, when entire religious, racial and national minority groups were threatened with and subjected to deliberate extermination. The practice of genocide has occurred throughout human history. The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.”

President Ronald Reagan reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide in 1981. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation on the Armenian Genocide in 1975, 1984 and 1996.

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, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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