Tags: genocide | Armenia | Turkey | House of Representatives | diplomacy | denies | rejects

Congressmen Sponsor Armenian Genocide Bill; Turkey Still Rejects Term

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 03:44 PM

Dozens of House lawmakers introduced a resolution Wednesday urging President Barack Obama to recognize mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as "genocide," a move sure to anger Turkey ahead of the tragedy's 100th anniversary.

The bipartisan Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice resolution was sponsored by more than 40 members of the House of Representatives.

It would urge Obama to help stabilize and improve Armenian-Turkish ties "based upon the Republic of Turkey's full acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity."

Armenia says an estimated 1.5 million people were killed by Ottoman forces in 1915 in what it calls a genocide.

Modern Turkey has always rejected the term, putting the toll at 500,000 and blaming the deaths on war and starvation.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a lead sponsor of the bill and the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the Armenians "were deliberately murdered in the first genocide of the 20th century — these facts are indisputable."

"Denial of the Armenian Genocide undermines foundations for durable peace and security, making future atrocities more likely," added Congressman Robert Dold of Illinois, a Republican sponsor.

"As the greatest force for human dignity in the world, the United States has an obligation to send an unequivocal message that we will never forget those who were lost, nor shall we tolerate any country that hides behind bully tactics to shroud violations of human rights."

Schiff had sponsored a similar resolution in 2007 that did not get a vote, with then-president George W. Bush opposed to the bill.

GOP House Speaker John Boehner has not indicated whether he will bring the latest bill to the floor, but a person close to the process told AFP that "we plan to continue to build support and push for a vote."

The Armenian National Committee of America welcomed the resolution's introduction as a way of "promoting regional peace, protecting Armenia, and preventing future atrocities."

Approximately 20 nations, including France and Russia, recognize the killings as genocide.

© AFP 2020


   
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Dozens of House lawmakers introduced a resolution Wednesday urging President Barack Obama to recognize mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as genocide, a move sure to anger Turkey ahead of the tragedy's 100th anniversary.
genocide, Armenia, Turkey, House of Representatives, diplomacy, denies, rejects, 1915
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2015-44-18
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 03:44 PM
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