Obama's birth state recognizes Armenian genocide

The same day that Obama avoided using the word "genocide" in Turkey while stating that his views on the 1915 events remained the same, his birth state of Hawaii unanimously passed a resolution "declaring April 24 as a Day of Remembrance in Recognition and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide of 1915." This makes Hawaii the 42nd state to recognize the World War-I era kilings by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, the subject of a bill currently in House committee.

"Hawaii's recognition today of the Armenian Genocide reflects the broad-based and growing tide of civil society support throughout the United States for a strong, moral American stand against all genocides," said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "In this spirit, and keeping faith with the citizens of Hawaii and the forty-one other states that have officially marked this crime, we look forward, in the coming days, to the President honoring his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide."

The legislation, HR192, states that "approximately 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children living within the Ottoman Empire's borders were killed in a brutal genocide," and that "the Armenian Genocide remains unacknowledged by the Republic of Turkey to this day." The measure also notes "this body joins with Hawaii's Armenian-American community and all Armenians worldwide in recognizing and honoring those who were killed and persecuted during the Armenian Genocide, and urging people throughout the world to never forget these horrific crimes against humanity."

Obama promised on the campaign trail that he would recognize the slayings as genocide if he was elected president, but he now appears to be weighing that vow against the risk of chillier relations with Turkey.

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