President Joe Biden delivers remarks and participates in the digital Leaders Summit on Climate Session 5: The Economic Opportunities of Climate Action from the White House in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2021.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden on Saturday acknowledged the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century as a genocide, a historic although largely symbolic transfer that may probably pressure already fraught relations with Turkey.
Biden’s declaration is a serious break from previous U.S. administrations, which prevented calling the atrocities genocide on account of issues over alienating Turkey, an vital NATO ally and influential energy in the Middle East. Turkey has contested that the killings represent a genocide.
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” Biden said in a statement on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
As a candidate, Biden final 12 months vowed to make this declaration, which is extensively supported by human rights teams and Armenians. The Trump administration avoided recognizing the occasions as a genocide, as an alternative labeling them as “mass atrocities.”
People lay flowers on the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on Tsitsernakaberd Hill on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, which commemorates to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
Hayk Baghdasaryan | TASS | Getty Images
Following the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and neighborhood leaders in Constantinople – now recognized as Istanbul – by Ottoman authorities, roughly 1.5 million Armenians had been killed in the occasions recognized as Meds Yeghern that occurred from 1915 – 1923.
“A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security,” Biden stated. “Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.”
The Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Saturday that the Biden administration’s statement would “open a deep wound that undermines our mutual trust and friendship.”
Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a telephone name Friday, agreed to carry a bilateral assembly on the margins of the NATO Summit in June.
“It is an important day for all Armenians. Following the resolutions adopted by US Congress in 2019, President Biden honored the memory of victims of the Armenian Genocide,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote in a tweet on Saturday.
“The US has once again demonstrated its unwavering commitment to protecting human rights and universal values,” Pashinyan wrote.
Read the total assertion from the White House:
Each 12 months on at the present time, we bear in mind the lives of all those that died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to stopping such an atrocity from ever once more occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and neighborhood leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians had been deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a marketing campaign of extermination. We honor the victims of the Meds Yeghern in order that the horrors of what occurred are by no means misplaced to historical past. And we bear in mind in order that we stay ever-vigilant against the corrosive affect of hate in all its varieties.
Of those that survived, most had been pressured to search out new houses and new lives world wide, together with in the United States. With power and resilience, the Armenian folks survived and rebuilt their neighborhood. Over the many years Armenian immigrants have enriched the United States in numerous methods, however they’ve by no means forgotten the tragic historical past that introduced so lots of their ancestors to our shores. We honor their story. We see that ache. We affirm the historical past. We do that to not solid blame however to make sure that what occurred is rarely repeated.
Today, as we mourn what was misplaced, allow us to additionally flip our eyes to the long run—towards the world that we want to construct for our youngsters. A world unstained by the every day evils of bigotry and intolerance, the place human rights are revered, and the place all individuals are capable of pursue their lives in dignity and safety. Let us renew our shared resolve to forestall future atrocities from occurring anyplace in the world. And allow us to pursue therapeutic and reconciliation for all of the folks of the world.
The American folks honor all these Armenians who perished in the genocide that started 106 years in the past at present.
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