NORA Member Questions Qualye On Genocide Issue

SACRAMENTO–During a press briefing in Sacramento–California Thursday John Boghosian–National Organization of Republican Armenia’s Advisory Board Member–posed a question to former Vice-President Dan Qualye regarding his position on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Qualye responded initially by saying he was aware of the history of the era from discussions with his friend–former Senator Bob Dole–the facts of this historical event are well documented in history books and what occurred to the Armenia’s is well known. Boghosian followed up by asking whether the former Vice-President would take steps toward official US recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Qualye replied that the Armenian tragedy "is already in the history books."

This reply is considerably more vague then a 1990 statement Qualye made while a member of the US Senate. Joining a number of his colleagues on April 24–1990–then Senator Qualye expressed his sympathy for the Armenia’s and clearly characterized the slaughter of the Armenia’s as genocide. In his statement Qualye takes note of the Cambodian Genocide and begins by stating–"Like the Genocide of the Armenian before it?"

NORA is in the process of distributing its candidate questionnaires to all presidential aspiran’s–including Dan Qualye. The questionnaire will ask for each presidential contender to articulate his or her position on issues of concern to the Armenian American community–including Armenian Genocide recognition.

Former Vice-President Qualye’s remarks fall considerably short of the unequivocal stance taken by fellow Republican presidential hopeful Elizabeth Dole. Speaking in Chicago at a May 13 ceremony honoring her with the Armenian Prelacy’s Spirit of Armenia award–Mrs. Dole rededicated herself to working for official US recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Speaking in clear and unambiguous terms–she pledged to stand up against those who deny the Armenian Genocide or those who seek to characterize Ottoman Turkey’s systematic annihilation of its Armenian population as anything less than Genocide.

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