United States President Joe Biden is expected to formally recognize the killings of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I as an act of genocide, according to reports citing officials on April 21.
A bipartisan group of over 100 House members, led by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California, signed a letter addressed to Biden, calling for him to become the first U.S. President to formally recognize the mass slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
“For decades, while leaders around the world recognize the first genocide of the 20th century, the president of the United States has remained silent,” the letter said.
“The shameful silence of the United States government on the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide has gone on for too long, and it must end,” the letter further said, urging Biden to “follow through on your commitments and speak the truth.”
Biden had pledged to do such a move as a candidate, but it could further increase tensions with Turkey, which has denied the designation that other countries, such as France and Russia, have adopted.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that such “statements that have no legal binding will have no benefit, but they will harm ties.”
“If the United States wants to worsen ties, the decision is theirs,” Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkish broadcaster Haberturk.
When asked if Biden will follow through his commitment as the annual Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day arrives on April 24, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at the briefing that the Biden administration “will have more to say” when the day arrives.
“I don’t have anything to get ahead of that at this point in time,” Psaki further said.
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