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International Response to Armenian Genocide

Staff Report

Argentine Senate Adopts Genocide Resolution

In commemoration of the 83rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on April 23, the Argentinean Senate adopted a resolution condemning all forms of genocide and mass extermination, and expressing concern over the lack of condemnation of such criminal injustice. In its introduction, the resolution cited the Armenian Genocide, beginning on April 24, 1915, as the “first genocide of the 20th century, which was perpetrated by the Turks.”

40 Members of Congress Commemorate Armenian Genocide on House and Senate Floors

Washington , DC – A bipartisan group of forty Senators and Representatives, in speeches this week on the floors of their respective chambers, spoke out against Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, called for passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution, and urged President Clinton to break with his policy of supporting Turkey’s campaign to deny the first genocide of this century, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The Special Order speeches on the House floor were organized by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and John Edward Porter (R-IL). In total, thirty-eight Representatives and two Senators marked the 83rd anniversary of the Genocide in floor speeches. They joined with the more than forty members of Congress, including Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt (D-MO), Sen. Spencer Abraham (R-MI), and Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), who participated in the ANCA’s April 22nd Armenian Genocide Observance program in the U.S. Capitol.

Chris Hekimian with ANCAGovernmental Affairs said, “This unprecedented participation by members of Congress, both here in Washington and at observances across the country, reflects a growing awareness that the time has come for the Administration to end its participation in Turkey’s campaign of denials. The Administration, by encouraging Turkey to openly acknowledge this tragic chapter in its history, can help to reduce tensions in a region of great strategic significance.”

Rep. John Edward Porter (R-IL): Armenia and the Armenians will remain vigilant to assure that this tragic history is not repeated. The United States should do all it can in this regard as well, including a clear message about the historical fact of the Armenian genocide. I call on President Clinton to have the courage to speak plainly about what happened 83 years ago. We do Turkey no favors by facilitating her self-delusion, and we make ourselves hypocrites when we fail to sound the alarm on the human rights abuses occurring in Turkey, a close American ally today.

Rep. Esteban Torres (D-CA): Some would claim that our remembrance today fans the flames of atavistic hatred and that this issue of the Ottoman government’s efforts to destroy the Armenian people is a matter best left to scholars and historians. I do not agree. One fact remains undeniable: the death and suffering of Armenians on a massive scale happened, and is deserving of recognition and remembrance.

Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI): At the end of World War I, those responsible for ordering and implementing the Armenian Genocide were never brought to justice, and the world casually forgot about the pain and suffering inflicted upon the Armenian people. This proved to be a grave mistake.

French Prime Minister on Armenian Genocide

Paris (April 22) XINHUA – French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine Wednesday called on Turkey to “go much further” in facing the historical facts of massacres of Armenians committed by Ottoman Turkish army from 1915 to 1917.

“We have never ceased to tell the leaders of Turkey that they should go much further…in authorizing historians to make objective and true researches on these events,” Vedrine told the National Assembly. Unlike the parliaments in Russia, Greece, Lebanon, the United States (House of Representatives) and Canada, the French National Assembly has not adopted any resolution recognizing the massacres of Armenians as “genocide”. But former President Francois Mitterand once used the word “Genocide” to describe the massacres of Armenians.