Biden calls killing of Armenians 'genocide'

TEHRAN, Apr. 24 (MNA) – The US President Biden has formally recognized the killings and deportations of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the last years of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century as “genocide”.

Despite the fact that his White House predecessors would avoid recognizing the alleged killing of Armenians as genocide for decades over concerns of alienating Turkey, President Joe Biden has now formally done so.

According to the Associated Press (AP), with the acknowledgment, Biden followed through on a campaign promise he made a year ago Saturday.

Biden used a presidential proclamation to make the pronouncement. While previous presidents have offered somber reflections of the dark moment in history via remembrance day proclamations, they have studiously avoided using the term genocide out of concern that it would complicate relations with Turkey — a NATO ally and important power in the Middle East.

During a telephone call Friday, Biden informed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his plan to issue the statement, AP cited a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The US and Turkish governments, in separate statements following Biden and Erdogan’s call, made no mention of the American plan to recognize the alleged 'genocide'. But the White House said Biden told Erdogan he wants to improve the two countries’ relationship and find “effective management of disagreements.” The two also agreed to hold a bilateral meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels in June.

Turkish stance on 1915 events

Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties, according to Anadolu. 

Turkey objects to the presentation of these incidents as “genocide,” describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.

KI/PR

News Code 172523

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