Tags: Obama | Turkey | Armenia

Obama Pays Tribute to Armenian Victims

Saturday, 23 Apr 2011 05:54 PM

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is honoring Armenian victims on the anniversary of their massacre in Turkey nearly a century ago. But he is stopping short of calling it a genocide.

In a statement Saturday, Obama calls the 1915 killings "horrific." He says it is important to ensure the killings "are never repeated" and praises efforts by individuals in Armenia and Turkey to explore reconciliation.

During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to recognize the massacre as "genocide." In Saturday's statement, Obama says his view of those events has not changed.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies it's genocide.

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