This recognition is a long time in coming from a US President. Historians, scholars, eye-witnesses and survivors, religious figures, and even the US Congress have already recognized the Armenian Genocide as an established fact. But we applaud President Biden’s willingness to speak the truth. By showing that the world is watching, U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide will help to advance human rights around the world and prevent future genocides. We especially hope it will help to stop attacks against the small Armenian community still living in Turkey, lead to the return of Armenian prisoners of war in captivity in Azerbaijan, and halt the destruction of Armenian churches in Artsakh in the aftermath of the war waged by Azerbaijan and Turkey against Armenia and Artsakh this past fall.
U.S. presidential recognition is not merely symbolic. Recognition by the president is of great importance because of the executive branch’s power in foreign relations. A clear statement from the president recognizing the Armenian Genocide, more even than Congressional resolutions, can shape U.S. policies as well as establish a tone that will have a far-reaching impact in the State Department and even in how history curricula are written in public schools, among the many other effects.
—Yervant Chekijian, Chairman of the Board, National Association for Armenian Studies and Research