US says acknowledges the killing of 1.5 million Armenians as ‘historical fact’

The US State Department has said the position of the United States has long been that it clearly acknowledges as “historical fact” and “mourn the loss of 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred or marched to their deaths” in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

Speaking during a daily press briefing, spokesperson Jen Psaki said “our position has long been that we acknowledge – clearly acknowledge as historical fact and mourn the loss of 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.”

“These horrific events resulted in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, and the United States recognizes that they remain a great source of pain for the people of Armenia and of Armenian descent, as they do for all of us who share basic universal values,” she added.

When questioned about President Barack Obama’s statements when he was a candidate, Psaki said candidate Obama has his own personal views about this issue.

Psaki also noted that Washington continues to urge both Turkey and Armenia to work together to achieve a full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts. She said the US believes that by working together to address the shared history, Armenia and Turkey can promote stability and prosperity in the entire Caucasus region. “So we continue to work with them on that,” she stressed.

While the normalization protocols may not be moving forward at this time, Psaki said, the US notes that both sides remain committed to the process of normalizing relations and neither side has withdrawn.

“Our greatest interest on this issue is to see Armenia and Turkey heal the wounds of the past and move forward together in a shared future of security and prosperity in the region, and our policy is, of course, naturally guided by that goal,” Psaki added.

Psaki’s remarks came an hour before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Armenian Genocide Resolution, clearing the way for the resolution to come on the Senate’s agenda.

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