Bush Again Retreats From Pledge to Recognize Genocide

WASHINGTON–Despite having heard in recent weeks from more than 162 U.S. Representatives who had urged him to recognize the Armenian Genocide as a "genocide," George W. Bush today–in his second April 24th statement as President–again broke his pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

In a statement issued today–on April 24th–the annual day of remembrance for the Armenian Genocide–the President again resorted to the use of evasive and euphemistic terminology to obscure the reality of Turkey’s Genocide against the Armenian people.

"Sadly–today again we witnessed the continuation of this Administration’s policy of complicity in the Turkish Government’s denial the Armenian Genocide," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

"While we appreciate the President taking the time to offer remarks on this solemn occasion–his support for Armenia’s security and independence–and interest in a resolution of regional conflict–we remain–as a community and a people–deeply troubled by his failure to speak openly and honestly about the Armenian Genocide," commented Hamparian.

"We were particularly disappointed by the President’s use of terms such as ‘venomous patterns’ and ‘the dark cycle of hatred’ – which cloud the clear-cut moral issues at stake in Turkey’s genocide denials – at a time when he has called for ‘moral clarity’ in the conduct of our foreign affairs," added Hamparian.

The text of the President’s remarks is provided below:

Today–we commemorate an appalling tragedy of the 20th century–the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenia’s through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. These horrific killings left wounds that remain painful for people in Armenia–in Turkey–and around the world. I join the Armenian community in America and across the globe in mourning this horrendous loss of life.

Today is an occasion for the world to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events. It is a day for recognizing that demonizing others lays foundations for a dark cycle of hatred. Transcending this venomous pattern requires painful introspection about the past and wise determination to forge a new future based on truth and reconciliation. In this spirit–I look forward to Turkey’s restoring economic–political–and cultural links with Armenia.

The United States greatly values the contributions that Armenia’s make to our national life. With faith and courage–generations of Armenia’s have overcome great suffering and proudly preserved their centuries-old culture–traditions and religion. The United States is also deeply grateful for Armenia’s swift and decisive cooperation in the war against terrorism.

Just as the United States reached out to the Armenian people to provide shelter and freedom early in the last century–so did Armenia extend a supportive hand to the American people in the immediate aftermath of September 11th. Our two peoples stand together in this fight in support of values that define civilization itself.

I am also very proud of America’s strong support for a free Armenian state–whose citizens enjoy the fruits of peace and increasing prosperity. In the months to come–America will continue to increase its security cooperation with Armenia and with Armenia’s neighbors to combat terrorism and pursue a lasting and just settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict–which will strengthen peace and stability in the Caucasus. The United States will also continue its strong support for Armenia’s efforts to develop democratic and free market institutions–and to deepen its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.

On behalf of the American people–I send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance. Together–our nations look with hope and determination toward a future of peace–prosperity–and freedom.

[signed]

George W. Bush

Text of President’s Remarks

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