U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a bipartisan resolution in the Senate to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. The resolution was cosponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).
“Today, on Armenian Remembrance Day, 102 years after this tragedy took place under the Ottomans, we must call it for what it is: genocide. I believe our continued failure to do so leaves space for barbarism in our present world and I call on my Senate colleagues to correct this shameful oversight,” said Senator Menendez. “This resolution reaffirms in the strongest terms possible that we will always honor the memory of innocent Armenian men, women, and children who were killed or expelled from their homeland, and will always remember this tragedy as a lesson to always stand together against all crimes against humanity.”
Over the course of eight years, the Ottoman Empire deported nearly 2,000,000 Armenians from their homeland, where they had existed for 2,500 years. Of that population, 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed. In 1915, England, France and Russia jointly condemned this “crime against humanity,” the first ever such charge against another government.
“We want to thank Senator Menendez and his Senate colleagues for introducing legislation calling for an end to U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denials,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). “It’s evident, as the authors of this bipartisan resolution clearly articulate, that any meaningful improvement in Armenian-Turkish relations will require that the Turkish government first acknowledge the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide and then accept a just and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.”
“We deeply appreciate Senator Menendez’s commitment to affirming America’s proud chapter in helping to save the Armenian people during the first genocide of the twentieth century,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “As we remember the Armenian Genocide today, I am reminded that Christians and other minorities in the Middle East and elsewhere remain at risk. Their plight obligates us to redouble our efforts to prevent further atrocities and restore respect for human rights everywhere.”