U.S. House vote on Armenian Genocide slated for October 29

U.S. House vote on Armenian Genocide slated for October 29

PanARMENIAN.Net - For the first time in more than 30 years, the U.S. House of Representatives is set to hold an up-or-down vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, a bipartisan measure locking in U.S. recognition of this crime, on Tuesday, October 29. If adopted, this resolution would strike a powerful blow against the gag-rule that Ankara has long enforced against honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.296) would be on the House docket on Tuesday, along with H.R.4695, the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act that would impose harsh sanctions on Turkey over its recent invasion of northern Syria.

“With the president caving-in to Erdogan, it’s up to Congress to speak out for America,” ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian said, according to Yahoo News. He added that the resolution would be a “signal” to the Turks that “that Washington won’t be bullied, U.S. policy can’t be hijacked, and American principles are not for sale.”

The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment on the House’s planned vote.

Commenting on the planned resolution, a State Department spokeswoman refrained from the word genocide.

“While the State Department does not generally comment on pending legislation, our policy on this issue is clear: The United States recognizes the Meds Yeghern was one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,” the spokeswoman said, using an Armenian phrase that means “great calamity.”

“We mourn the horrific events of 1915 and grieve for the lives lost and the many who suffered. We welcome efforts of Armenians and Turks to acknowledge and reckon with their painful history.”

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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