37 Senators join Chairman Menendez in calling on President Biden to recognize Armenian Genocide

Bipartisan Letter Demands an End to US Complicity in Turkey’s Genocide Denial

WASHINGTON, DC –A bipartisan group of 37 Senators has joined Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in calling on President Biden to follow the lead of Congress in fully and formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“President Biden – by virtue of his own strong Senate record and the bipartisan House and Senate resolutions he backed as a candidate – is powerfully positioned to reject Turkey’s gag-rule, locking in permanent US government-wide condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian.

Hellenic American Leadership Council executive director Endy Zemenides concurred. “The Biden administration has fortunately started on the right foot and spoken to Turkey truthfully and bluntly. Yet the White House still needs to be truthful when it comes to the Armenian Genocide. President Biden’s record as a Senator and his statements as a candidate for the Presidency prove that he is aware of and committed to this truth. Now that he is the boss, the end of Turkey’s gag rule should be a no-brainer,” stated Zemenides.

Joining Chairman Menendez in cosigning the letter to President Biden are: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Robert Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The Senate letter cites President Biden’s April 2020 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement, in which he pledged “to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” noting that, since “Congress has already made its position clear. It is time for executive branch to do so as well.” The letter closes with a powerful call for truth: “Administrations of both parties have been silent on the truth of the Armenian Genocide. We urge you to break this pattern of complicity by officially recognizing that the Armenian Genocide was genocide.”

Senator Menendez has led a decades-long fight to ensure proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide as part of a U.S. foreign policy that reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. On December 12, 2019, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution (S.Res.150), led by Sen. Menendez and Sen. Cruz, affirming the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide, making clear that US policy must reject efforts to deny the truth of this tragedy. A similar resolution was adopted by the US House (H.Res.296) on October 29, 2019, by a near-unanimous vote of 405-11.

Over 50,000 people participated in the ANCA’s national call-to-action by writing, calling and tweeting their Senators to cosign the bipartisan letter led by Senator Menendez.

#####

Text of Letter Led by Senator Menendez Urging President Biden to Officially Recognize the Armenian Genocide

March 19, 2021

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Biden:

We write today to strongly urge you to officially recognize the truth of the Armenian Genocide. In the past you have recognized the Armenian Genocide as genocide, including in your Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement during the 2020 campaign. We call on you to do so again as President to make clear that the U.S. government recognizes this terrible truth.

From 1915 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire systematically sought to eliminate the Armenian population, killing 1.5 million Armenians and driving hundreds of thousands more from their homeland. We join the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in honoring the memory of these victims, and we stand firmly against attempts to pretend that this intentional, organized effort to destroy the Armenian people was anything other than a genocide. You have correctly stated that American diplomacy and foreign policy must be rooted in our values, including respect for universal rights. Those values require us to acknowledge the truth and do what we can to prevent future genocides and other crimes against humanity.

In December 2019, after decades of obstruction, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced affirming the facts of the Armenian Genocide. The House also overwhelmingly passed its own resolution recognizing the facts of the Armenian Genocide in 2019. We appreciate that in your April 2020 Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement you pledged “to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” but Congress has already made its position clear. It is time for executive branch to do so as well.

As you said in your Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement last April, “It is particularly important to speak these words and commemorate this history at a moment when we are reminded daily of the power of truth, and of our shared responsibility to stand against hate — because silence is complicity.” Administrations of both parties have been silent on the truth of the Armenian Genocide.  We urge you to break this pattern of complicity by officially recognizing that the Armenian Genocide was a genocide.

Sincerely,

avatar
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
avatar

@ANCA_DC

The Armenian National Committee of America works for truth, justice, peace & freedom on for all friends of the Armenian Cause. Also: @anca_er @anca_wr 🇦🇲
Samantha Power @PowerUSAID - a longstanding upstander for victims of war-crimes and genocide - is better positioned… https://t.co/wLjFLTNEYr - 27 mins ago

7 Comments

  1. I can hear the annual drum rolling beginning…….
    Will he or won’t he utter the “G” word. Interesting position
    for Biden since his “commitment” is even clearer than
    Obama ….. beyond a campaign statement and in confirmation hearing.
    Pray for the best.. prepare for the worst.

  2. I think it is the right time for the USA to show its power and its strength in the world by making a crucial decision. Several factors can contribute to this dream coming true. Firstly, we should notice that Biden and Erdogan are new to each other and have difficulties finding common ground. If we add to this that the USA hardly criticized and made sanctions on Turkey for buying the S-400 missile system from Russian. In that case, it is our opportunity to deeper our diplomacy with the USA to achieve genocide recognition by one of the world’s influential countries in the world. Several days ago, when President Putin and Biden had a distant battle and called each other murderer, a Turkish leader supported the Russian president and stated that Putin was right. This is a chance for Biden to punish Erdogan for his announcements. This all affects the Turkish – USA relationship badly, and by recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the USA may give a very small counterattack. Armenian foreign ministry should use all its connections and opportunities to make use of this moment. We can use this situation to our benefit. We should put a little pressure and call our allies to make the USA officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. This may also lead to a worse USA – Turkey relationship. In addition, although Russia and Turkey had a good relationship, they are opponents in many areas, like in caucus and Syria. So if Turkey and the USA will have a bad relationship and Russia will have conflicts with Turkey, our primary opponent will stay alone without having any support from Russian or Turkey.

    • Turkey under Erdogan has been a very bad actor. While there are many in Turkey who oppose him, his authoritarian regime and the current atrocities committed in northern Syria have brought about a change of heart from the U.S. Departments of State and Defense.

      The decision to utter the word “genocide”, in reference to the crimes against humanity committed by the Turks against Armenian Christians is so long past due that it is a stain on those nations who fail to acknowledge it as such.

      The Turkish onslaught against Armenians is the OG of genocides, for which Raphael Lempkin coined the term. The excuse that their mass killings were merely acts of war was what gave Hitler license to pursue the same against Jews, the Roma and other non-Aryan cultures.

      That it has taken over a century for the world, and particularly the United States to universally name this dark episode for and hold Turkey accountable due to the excuse of geopolitical tensions between the west and Russia, only eases the road toward other nations pursuing the same against other peoples.

  3. The first person who recognized Armenian Genocide 105 years ago was Henry Morgenthau, the United States Ambassador to Ottoman Turkey. Then President Woodrow Wilson drew the map of Greater Armenia but unfortunately the US Congress did not approve it.
    Now after so many years the US Congress and Senate officially recognized the Armenian Genocide and left the matter to be confirmed by the US President. So President Biden should absolutely recognize the Armenian Genocide as he has promised.

    • A little correction, The treaty of Sevres of which the redrawn borders of Western Armenia were a part was actually approved and signed by all parties including turkey in august 1920 in Sevres France. However the US Congress did not approve a US Mandate for Armenia in that same year, which would have enforced the new borders.

  4. After President Biden recognized the Armenian Genocide, it will be the turn of recognition of Artsakh (Kharabakh) Republic by the US Congress and Senate headed by President Biden. The world will know that United States of Americais defending just causes . It will also clear the US from the unjust policies of the former president Trump.
    America is and will be the bastion of freedom and justice. An important sum of aid should also be granted by the US to Armenia and Artsakh.

    • Exactly, you’re spot on that. Btw, Biden must urge Turkey to give up Western Armenia. From Ararat to Van, from Erzrum to Ankara are all ancient Armenian soil. Our capital of United Armenia will be Ankara. Biden must do his job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*