Ankara had warned Washington not to take this step. But for US President Biden, it was fulfilling a promise: the US recognized the cruelty against Armenians in World War I as genocide.
Washington (AP) – Despite warnings from Turkey, US President Joe Biden has recognized the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I as genocide.
“The American people are honoring all those Armenians who were killed in the genocide that began 106 years ago today,” Biden said in a message circulated by the White House on Saturday’s memorial day of the massacres. During the election campaign, Biden had promised that the massacre of the Armenians would be recognized as genocide. The Ankara government had warned the US administration against such a move.
As early as 2019, the US Congress recognized the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The administration of then US President Donald Trump then emphasized that the legally non-binding resolution did not change the attitude of the US administration. Trump had spoken of “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,” but – like other US presidents – avoided the word genocide.
French President Emmanuel Macron had previously thought of the massacre of Armenians in Paris. “The French people and the Armenian people are forever linked,” the 43-year-old said via Twitter on Saturday. The head of state was shown in photographs on the occasion of the “Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide” at the monument in the center of the French capital.
Macron announced about two years ago that April 24 would be a national day of remembrance. As the AFP news agency reported, it was the first time he participated in an official ceremony on Remembrance Day.
During the First World War, Armenians were systematically persecuted. It is estimated that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Ottoman Empire at that time in 1915/1916. The Republic of Armenia in the South Caucasus has long demanded that Turkey, the successor to the Ottoman Empire, recognize the atrocities as genocide. Turkey finds the numbers excessive and vehemently rejects the classification as genocide.
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