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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

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