May 1, 2018 - 15:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - President Donald Trump learned last week that he satisfies just about no one when attempting to commemorate Armenian Remembrance Day — the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, Newsmax says in an article.
In issuing a proclamation for Armenian Remembrance Day (April 24), the president used the term “meds yeghern” (the Armenian word for “atrocity” or “catastrophe”) when describing “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, in which 1.5 million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their final deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire" (as Turkey was known at the time).
"But Trump, like most of his predecessors, stopped short of using the word “genocide” to describe these events. The American Armenian community — outside of Armenia, the largest such community in the world — wants the word used in an official statement from the U.S," the president said.
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian said President Trump’s statement “once again enforced [Turkey’s] gag rule against honest American condemnation and commemoration of Armenian genocide.”
Since Turkey is considered a U.S. ally in the war against IS and the U.S. president has a good relationship with Turkish President Erdogan, White House sources say, Trump refrained from using the term “genocide.”
Noting the president’s choice of words on Armenian Remembrance Day, Newsmax asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders whether the president believes in the Armenian Genocide.
“I haven’t had a detailed conversation with him about that,” Sanders told me. “But I understand the resolution the president signed was consistent with past administrations as well.”
As a candidate, Barack Obama made clear he believed in Armenian Genocide and promised to sign a proclamation that said just that. But he never did — reportedly because he considered Turkey an ally in the war against terror.
The closest any president has come to invoking the term “Armenian Genocide” was in Ronald Reagan’s Proclamation 4838 (April 22, 1981) remembering victims of the Holocaust: “Like the Genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it — and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples — the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”