WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) praised the historic action of President Joseph Biden, Jr., who on April 24 recognized the Armenian Genocide with a declaration stating the systematic killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire was an act of genocide. On April 22 U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ, one of the longstanding leaders in the recognition effort, praised Biden for the impending announcement.
Maloney released the following statement for the April 24th commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day:
“This week marks 106 years since the Ottoman Empire began its systematic and reprehensible genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney D-NY, left, speaks during a press conference at City Hall, Jan. 9, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
“To honor all those murdered, and all who survived, the United States and the world must formally recognize this genocide. As a member of the Armenian Caucus, I was proud to vote in favor of the 2019 House resolution to do just that and have joined with my colleagues to urge President Biden to do the same in his upcoming statement. I am encouraged by reports that the President has heard the calls of the Armenian people, the generations of Armenian-Americans in NY-12, and the American public and will be making that formal declaration.
“We must irrefutably affirm the United States’ official recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This will enable us to enlist the full force of the federal government to encourage education of the facts so that future generations will continue to remember it for what it was and make sure it never happens again.
“We must also continue to push for Turkey to do the same. President Erdogan must finally acknowledge the mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians for what it truly is: genocide.”
The statement by Nicholas Larigakis, President of AHI, a Washington, DC-based non-profit public policy and advocacy center that works to strengthen relations between the United States and Greece and Cyprus, while also focusing on human rights issues in the East Mediterranean, declared:
“We congratulate the Armenian-American community who has endeavored for decades to reach this landmark moment … President Biden’s action, together with the passage of congressional resolutions by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, signify an end to America’s foreign policy silence on the Armenian Genocide, a crime against humanity. Today is a banner day for upholding justice, human rights, and the rule of law.”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, center, attends a memorial service at the monument to the victims of mass killings by Ottoman Turks, to commemorate the 106th anniversary of the massacre, in Yerevan, Armenia, Saturday, April 24, 2021. (Tigran Mehrabyan/PAN Photo via AP)
In March, AHI applauded Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez’s initiative to send a letter to President Biden requesting the Biden administration to join Congress in recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Thirty-nine Senators signed-on to the letter.
Calling on the United States to recognize the Armenian Genocide has been a staple of annual AHI’s policy statements.
Menendez (D-NJ) applauded Biden’s reported decision in advance:
“I’m honored and incredibly moved to be able to commemorate this year’s anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by applauding the President’s reported decision to end over a century of official erasure of one of the darkest events in human history. Today we keep faith with all those who stand up to injustice anywhere and everywhere in the world. We honor those who lost their lives in this genocide, remember how they died and rejoice in knowing we’ve changed the way history will remember their deaths. After three decades of leading this fight in Congress, I am proud the U.S. government is poised to finally be able to say it without any euphemism: genocide is genocide. Plain and simple.”