Biden vows to recognize Armenian genocide if elected president

Greg Nash

Former Vice President Joe Biden vowed to officially recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide if elected to the White House, a move past presidents have avoided for years.

“If we do not fully acknowledge, commemorate, and teach our children about genocide, the words ‘never again’ lose their meaning,” Biden wrote in a Medium post. “The facts must be as clear and as powerful for future generations as for those whose memories are seared by tragedy.

“If elected, I pledge to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority for my administration,” he continued.

An estimated 3 million Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks were killed by the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s, though presidents have been reluctant to label the massacre a genocide for political reasons.

President Trump dubbed the killing as “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century” in a statement, and former President Obama never declared the slaughter as a genocide despite vowing to do so on the campaign trail. 

The House and Senate both passed a resolution last year dubbing the 1915 killings a genocide, but the Trump administration distanced itself from the bill.

Past administrations have been hesitant to call the massacre a genocide in part out of fear of damaging relations with Turkey, a NATO ally and partner in the Middle East.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed efforts to use the term “genocide,” with a spokesperson saying last year that any such recognition would “endanger the future of [U.S.-Turkish] bilateral relations.”

Tags Armenian Genocide Armenian Genocide recognition Armenia–Turkey relations Donald Trump Genocide Joe Biden Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video