Bush Again Fails to Honor Pledge to Recognize Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON–DC–Despite having heard in recent weeks from over 168 US Representatives who had urged him to recognize the Armenian Genocide as a "genocide," George W. Bush today–in his third April 24th statement as President–again broke his February 2000 campaign pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

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.

The statement also sought to resurrect the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC,) the failed State Department funded initiative devised to derail progress toward international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The effort was universally rejected by Armenia’s in the US–Armenia and around the world.

"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 Chairman Kenneth Hachikian. "While we appreciate the President taking the time to offer remarks on this solemn occasion–we remain–as a community and a people–deeply disappointed by his failure to speak openly and honestly about the Armenian Genocide."

"We find it offensive that the President would use this most solemn of occasions for the Armenian American community to attempt to revive the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission–a failed initiative strenuously denounced by all facets of our community."

The text of the President’s remarks follow.

The full text of the statement by President George W. Bush:

The White House

April 24–2003

Today marks the anniversary of a horrible tragedy–the mass killings and forced exile of countless Armenia’s in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. Many Armenia’s refer to these appalling events as the "great calamity," reflecting a deep sorrow that continues to haunt them and their neighbors–the Turkish people. The suffering that befell the Armenian people in 1915 is a tragedy for all humanity–which the world should not forget. I join the Armenian-American community and Armenia’s around the world in mourning the horrendous loss of life.

I also salute our wise and bold friends from Armenia and Turkey who are coming together in a spirit of reconciliation to consider these events and their significance. I applaud them for rising above bitterness–and taking action to create a better future. I wish them success–building on their recent and significant achievemen’s–as they work together in a spirit of hope and understanding.

As we remember those who perished and suffered–we salute the nation of Armenia–and Armenia’s everywhere. The United States is grateful for the contributions of Armenian Americans to our national life. Generations of Armenia’s have employed wisdom–courage–and centuries-old traditions to overcome great suffering and enrich their adopted American homeland.

The United States is proud to be a friend of Armenia–a young state with an ancient heritage. We are deepening our partnership to help achieve a secure–prosperous–and dignified future for the citizens of Armenia. The United States is committed to achieving a just and lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We will also continue to help Armenia as it strives to strengthen its democracy and market economy.

On behalf of the American people–I send solemn wishes to the Armenian people on this day of remembrance. Our nations stand together–determined to create a future of peace–prosperity–and freedom for the citizens of our countries–for our regions–and for the world.

George W. Bush

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