Obama says Meds Yeghern again, avoids term Genocide

Obama says Meds Yeghern again, avoids term Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - President Barack Obama on Saturday marked the anniversary of the massacre of Armenians in Turkey nearly a century ago by calling it a "horrific" slaughter, but once again stopped short of branding it Genocide.

In a written statement, Obama said the 1915 killings of some 1.5 million Armenians represent "one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century." But for the third straight year, he failed to use the word Genocide to describe it.

As a candidate for president, Obama repeatedly vowed to recognize the Armenian Genocide once in office, vowing "a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide."

But since 2009, Obama has declined to use the word in the face of furious resistance from Turkey, a key NATO ally.

In his statement, Obama said "contested history destabilizes the present and stains the memory of those whose lives were taken." He said America knows this from the dark chapters in its own history.

He praised efforts in Armenia and Turkey "to foster a dialogue that acknowledges their common history. "

But Obama confined himself to using the Armenian name for the atrocities, Meds Yeghern, and paying tribute "to the memories of those who perished."

He said his view of what took place hasn't changed since the campaign, adding, "A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all our interests." AP reported.

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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