Home Business News In a historic move, Biden said that the 1915 massacres against Armenians...

In a historic move, Biden said that the 1915 massacres against Armenians constituted genocide.


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© Reuters. US President Joe Biden departs from Washington

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By Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Saturday said the 1915 Armenian massacre in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide, a historic declaration that angered Turkey and was set to straining the friction between the two NATO allies.

The move is largely symbolic, breaking down carefully calibrated language for decades from the White House, likely to be commemorated by the Armenian community in the United States, but at a time when Ankara and Washington have Deep policy disagreement on a wide range of issues.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey “completely rejects” the US decision that he thinks is “based solely on populism”.

Biden’s message has been “enthusiastically” received by Armenians and Armenians around the world, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote in a letter to the US President.

In his statement, Biden said the American people honored “all Armenians who died in the genocide that started 106 years ago today.”

“For decades Armenian immigrants have enriched America in countless ways, but they have never forgotten their tragic history … We honor their story. We see that pain. We confirm history. We do this not to blame but to make sure what happened is never repeated, “Biden said.

In comments seeking to defuse the blow, a senior administration official told reporters that Washington encouraged Armenia and Turkey to pursue reconciliation and continues to view Ankara as an important NATO ally.

For decades, measures to recognize the Armenian genocide have been stalled in the US Congress and the US presidents have not called it so, hampered by concerns over relations with Turkey and Ankara’s tension lobby.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with the Ottomans during World War I, but disputed the figures and denied the killings were staged. system and constitute a genocide.

‘RELATIONSHIP IN SHRIMP’

A year ago, while still a presidential candidate, Biden remembers the 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children who died in the final years of the Ottoman Empire and said he would make his best. to recognize those murders as genocide.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained because of problems ranging from Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system – which has been targeted by US sanctions – to major differences. books in Syria, human rights and a lawsuit targeting the majority country of Turkey – owned by Halkbank.

Biden’s statement follows a non-binding U.S. Senate resolution unanimously passed in 2019 recognizing the killings as genocide.

Nicholas Danforth, a non-resident member of The Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, former US presidents have abandoned their campaign to recognize the Armenian genocide for fear of damaging US-Turkey relations. .

“Given relationships that are already in turmoil, nothing can stop Biden from pursuing,” Danforth said. “Ankara has no allies in the US government to lobby against this and Washington is not worried if it will make Turkey angry or not.”

Erdogan has established a close relationship with former US President Donald Trump, but since Biden took power, Washington has been more vocal about Turkey’s human rights track record. They also firmly asked Ankara to remove the Russian defense systems.

Biden also delayed his phone conversation with Erdogan until Friday – seen as a cold shoulder for the Turkish president – when he informed him of his decision to recognize the massacres as a genocide. strains.

Saturday’s announcement was criticized by the Turkish government and some opposition politicians. Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin’s spokesman, said Mr Biden’s remarks “only echo the accusations of those whose only agenda is hostile to our country.”

“We advise the president of the United States to look back at his own country’s past and present,” Kalin wrote on Twitter.



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