President Biden rejects Turkey’s gag-rule, recognizes Armenian Genocide – ANCA

President Joseph Biden officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, today, rejecting the longest-lasting foreign gag-rule in American history and dealing a major setback to Turkey’s century-long obstruction of justice for this crime, a move welcomed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In joining with the U.S. Senate and House, 49 U.S. states, and a dozen NATO allies, President Biden has ended a century-long era of American complicity in Turkey’s denials.

“President Biden’s principled stand on the Armenian Genocide today – powerfully overriding Ankara’s foreign veto against honest American remembrance of this crime – pivots America toward the justice deserved and the security required for the future of the Armenian nation – a landlocked, blockaded, genocide-survivor state,” said ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “The ANCA looks forward to working with the Biden Administration to translate this statement into a fundamental reset in U.S. policy toward the region – one that prioritizes the survival of Artsakh, the security of Armenia, and a fair and lasting regional peace based upon a just resolution of the Armenian Genocide,.” said Hamparian.

Armenian Genocide recognition is particularly impactful today, in the wake of Turkey and Azerbaijan’s unprovoked, genocidal attacks against Armenia and Artsakh last fall, that resulted in a regional humanitarian disaster including the displacement of over 100,000 Armenians from their homes, the ongoing Azerbaijani imprisonment of over 200 Armenian POWS, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s threats of renewed Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia – made as recently as this week.

President Biden’s recognition of the genocide pivots the U.S. toward a sustained policy that meaningfully and materially supports Artsakh’s survival and Armenia’s security, while forcefully challenging Turkey and Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian aggression. Alongside growing global condemnation of this crime, U.S. recognition also isolates Turkey and undermines its denials, increasing pressure upon Ankara to end its campaign of lies, cease its obstruction of justice, and open the door to a truthful, just, and comprehensive resolution of present-day Turkey’s legal, moral, political , and territorial responsibilities for this still unpunished crime.

Recognition of the Armenian Genocide honors the memory and dignity of its victims and survivors, while – more broadly – rejecting the use of human rights as a bargaining chip. In elevating genocide and atrocity prevention to the level of moral and political imperative, this recognition honors all victims of the scourge of genocides past and present – making future atrocities less likely.


The U.S. first recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951 through a filing which was included in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Report titled: “Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”

President Ronald Reagan cited the Armenian Genocide in a 1981 proclamation. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation on the Armenian Genocide in 1975, 1984, and 1996. In 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate overwhelmingly adopted Armenian Genocide legislation (H.Res.220 / S.Res.150). Since 1965, 49 U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide through resolution or proclamation, with Mississippi yet to accurately commemorate and condemn this crime.

From 1915-1930, the U.S. provided unprecedented humanitarian assistance to save victims of the Armenian Genocide. The congressionally mandated Near East Relief (NER) mobilized the entire American nation, and indeed the world, into a well-organized and well-funded relief effort which successfully saved over 1,000,000 refugees and 132,000 orphans of the Armenian Nation and other Christian minorities. The NER raised $117 million ($2.7 billion in today’s dollars) and built over 400 orphanages, food and clothing distribution centers, medical clinics and hospitals, and vocational training schools throughout the Near East to house and care for the survivors.

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