Joe Biden has formally recognized the Armenian genocide of some 1.5 million Armenian Christians by the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, becoming the first U.S. president ever to do so. The U.S. had avoided declaring such for decades over fears of angering Turkey.
Business Insider President Joe Biden on Saturday officially recognized the mass killing of more than 1.5 million Armenians during the early 1900s by the Ottoman Empire as genocide, becoming the first US president to do so.
As The Associated Press reported, previous US presidents had long avoided calling the atrocity a genocide to avoid angering Turkey. Biden last year, then a candidate for president, said he would recognize the genocide.
Under Donald Trump, in 2019, Congress finally passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide by Turkey (Ottoman Empire), following decades of lobbying in the U.S. against such a resolution by Turkish leaders. But regrettably, Trump did not make an official declaration of the Armenian genocide by Turkey. In an April 2019 statement, Trump referred to the genocide, which occurred between 1915 and 1923, as one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century but stopped short of calling it genocide.
Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring, Biden said in a statement published Saturday by The White House in recognition of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination, he added.
While other presidents had released statements recognizing the atrocity, none before Biden had called it genocide because of the US relationship with Turkey as part of NATO. Its estimated that 2 million Armenians were deported during the period, while 1.5 were killed, the AP reported. According to the report, Biden informed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his intent to issue the statement on Friday.
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