USA | One step before the recognition of the Armenian Genocide – Gratitude to Cyprus, expresses V. Mahdessian
Defence Redefined
Published on 22/04/2021 at 10:21

US President Joe Biden may within days officially recognize the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, according to sources informed of the president’s intentions. Such a development, however, is expected to further deteriorate US relations with Turkey.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday that the US presidency will have “more to say” on the issue this Saturday. She avoided going into details.

Mr Biden is expected to use the word “genocide” in a statement issued on April 24, when commemorative events are held around the world each year, according to two sources familiar with the matter, which spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. The sources highlighted, however, that no final decision has been made yet.

A year ago, when he was still running for the presidency of the United States, Mr. Biden had commemorated all 1.5 million victims, men, women and children who were slaughtered while the Ottoman Empire was coming to an end and had promised that if elected he would officially recognize the Armenian genocide.

Turkey admits that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces at the time, but disputes historians’ death toll estimates, while it is argued that it was not a systematic, organised extermination of the population because of its national identity, which would constitute genocide.

The possible recognition of the Armenian genocide was reported earlier on Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, citing Biden government officials. Yesterday, Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu warned that the official recognition of the genocide by the United States would damage the already tense relations between the two countries and NATO allies.

The hope for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the USA was expressed by the Representative of the Armenians in the House of Representatives, Vartkes Mahdessian, while expressing his sincere gratitude to Cyprus, which was the first country in Europe to recognize the genocide in 1975, while in 2015 it criminalised its denial.

Mr. Mahdessian addressed the Plenary Session of the Parliament today on the occasion of the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

“Between 1915 and 1923, more than 1,500,000 innocent Armenians were slaughtered or forced to their deaths in the inhospitable desert of Der Zor, where to this day we can still find the bones of slaughtered Armenians,” he said.

All 800,000 survivors of the Turkish atrocity, he said, “tasted the bitterness of exile, while another 100,000 were converted to Islam or enslaved, whose descendants either ignore or hide their true origin for fear of being stigmatised.”

“I note with indignation that in the 15 years I have served as Representative of the Armenians, Turkey has not only remained a firm denier of its bloody past and intimidates those who dare to point it out, but is also becoming more and more aggressive,” he said.

Turkey acts uncontrollably, he added, “in the Aegean and in the Cypriot EEZ, has connections with jihadists, hides behind the asymmetric threat of illegal immigration in Cyprus and the rest of Europe, it has occupied an area as big as Cyprus in northern Syria, it builds its nuclear plant opposite our island and so much more.”

According to him, “its latest achievement is the cooperation with Azerbaijan against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in the autumn of 2020. Apart from the loss of life for Armenia, 7,000 dead, 10,000 wounded and 100,000 refugees, the Turks are now engaged in provocation to rename places, desecrate churches and destroy monuments in the occupied areas,” he said.

Mr. Mahdessian went on to say that “as was done during the Genocide, so today, the Great Powers are limited to issuing condemnatory statements, which, apart from filling the pages with ink, have absolutely no substantial effect.”

“The only real support for us is our few long-lasting allies, including Cyprus and Greece, who know first hand what Turkey is,” he said.

“Through the diplomatic enlightenment, we hope that the universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide will soon cease to be subject to interests. Its recognition by 32 countries, as well as 49 of the 50 US states, is a starting point, and the recent assumption of the presidency of the United States of America by Joe Biden has revived our hopes, after his latest declarations on the subject,” he added.

He expressed “for the umpteenth time, my sincere gratitude to our homeland Cyprus, which was the first in Europe to recognize the Armenian Genocide in 1975, while in 2015 it criminalized its denial”.

“The partnership and solidarity between us does not end in the historical past, but continues in the strategic plans, as well as in the practical and moral support in our legal fight against Turkish crime,” he concluded.

Also read: Armenia | Political upheaval and confrontation with Russia, following Pashinyan’s statements about Iskander missiles






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