Obama stops short of calling Armenian massacre ‘genocide’
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President Obama marked the 100-year anniversary of Ottoman Turks’ massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 by calling it a “mass atrocity” and “terrible carnage,” but he stopped short of calling it a “genocide.”
 
“Beginning in 1915, the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire were deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths,” Obama said in a statement released Thursday evening. “Their culture and heritage in their ancient homeland were erased.”
 
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The president noted the debate over the terminology, saying he welcomed “the expression of views by Pope Francis.”
 
The Pope used the word “genocide” earlier this month to refer to the mass killings.
 
The president praised U.S. officials, human rights activists and humanitarian workers of 100 years ago for their efforts to stop the massacre and aid the victims.
 
He also called on global reflection on the importance of the killings.
 
“Peoples and nations grow stronger, and build a foundation for a more just and tolerant future, by acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past,” Obama said.