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U.S. Presidential nominee takes stand on Armenian Genocide

U.S. Presidential nominee takes stand on Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Hawaii Congresswoman and Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D) called for a just resolution of the Armenian Genocide and pledged to promote the security and prosperity of Armenia and Artsakh in a video statement released to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) on Wednesday, March 20. It is the first presidential campaign statement on Armenian American concerns released in preparation for the much anticipated 2020 election.

“I was so grateful to have the opportunity in 2017 to visit Armenia and Artsakh, where I gained a deeper understanding about both the challenges and the opportunities facing the Armenian people,” began the two-minute statement, which comes just days after a meeting with ANCA advocates in the San Francisco-Bay Area.

“The Armenian community here in the United States has played a positive and integral role for well over a century, and I am proud to support and stand with this community’s objectives to realize a just resolution of the Armenian Genocide and to promote the security and prosperity of the citizens of Armenia and Artsakh.”

Commenting on the broad range of foreign policy challenges facing the United States today, Rep. Gabbard noted “it’s especially critical that we pursue a foreign policy that rejects this fossilized, zero-sum thinking of ‘you’re either with us or against us. In order for us to win, you must lose.’ Instead, we must pursue a foreign policy that is based on cooperation with other countries, rather than confrontation.”

Rep. Gabbard stated her support for the continued role of the U.S. as a mediator in Artsakh peace talks through the OSCE Minsk Group, then noted, “but this does not mean that we continue a policy of false parity and fail to speak honestly when either party violates the cease-fire. In order to maintain credibility as an impartial broker, the United States should not promote a resolution that’s based on immediate and permanent concessions by Armenia or Artsakh only, in the absence of equivalent concessions by Azerbaijan. And while the principle for respect for territorial integrity must be adhered to, we also must stand for the right to self-determination for all people.”

Rep. Gabbard urged that the “Armenian Genocide must be recognized in order to bring about justice for one of the most egregious crimes against humanity in history.”

“We want to thank Congresswoman Gabbard for clearly communicating her constructive policy priorities, on video and in person, with Armenian American voters,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Her proven track record of legislative support - including, of course, her fact-finding mission to Artsakh and Armenia - has earned her an ‘A+’ rating from the ANCA. Heading into the 2020 primaries, Congresswoman Gabbard‘s pro-active campaign outreach has set the standard for candidates seeking the support of a highly engaged Armenian American electoral constituency that is well-positioned to play a decisive role on Super Tuesday and in other nominating contests across the country.”

Also Wednesday, Alabama officially became the 49th U.S. state to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Gabbard is among over a dozen Democrats who have announced their intention to vie for the U.S. presidency in 2020. In order to participate in nationally televised primary debates beginning in June, 2019, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has announced that candidates must have garnered 65,000 unique donations of any amount.

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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