President Bush Fails to Once Again Honor Pledge to Recognize Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON–DC–President Bush–ignoring calls from over 190 US legislators–failed–once again–to honor his campaign pledge to properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as "genocide," reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a statement issued on April 24–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 between 1915-1923.

This year’s statement praised 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.

"We do appreciate that President Bush has–once again–taken the time to mark April 24 as a day of remembrance. Armenian Americans–however–remain deeply troubled that for the fourth year in a row–despite his repeated calls for ‘moral clarity’ in the conduct of our international affairs–he has allowed pressure by a foreign government to reduce the President of the United States to using evasive and euphemistic terminology to avoid properly identifying the Armenian Genocide–an important chapter in America’s emergence as an international humanitarian power–as what is was: a genocide," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

"The President’s failure to honor his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide is compounded by the fact that–in this statement–he commen’s the thoroughly discredited Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission–a transparent partnership between the US State Department and the Turkish government to block the growing international recognition of and justice for Turkey’s crime against the Armenian nation."

"It is also plainly disingenuous for the President to ‘call on both Armenia and Turkey to restore their economic–political–and cultural ties,’ when it is the Turkish government that has illegally imposed a decade-long blockade of Armenia–and it has been Armenia that has called for the normalization of bilateral relations without preconditions. This formulation suggests either a lack of understanding of the region or a deliberate effort to artificially play down Turkey’s belligerent posture while simultaneously devaluing Armenia’s very meaningful contributions to regional stability," Hamparian said.

The Bush Administration is formally on record in opposition to Congressional legislation recognizing the Armenian Genocide. For the position of the Democratic Presidential hopeful John Kerry regarding Armenian Genocide recognition–please visit www.armenia’sforkerry.com The text of the President’s remarks is provided below. "On this day–we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century–the annihilation of as many as 1.5 million Armenia’s through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. This terrible event remains a source of pain for people in Armenia and Turkey and for all those who believe in freedom–tolerance–and the dignity of every human life. I join with my fellow Americans and the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in mourning this loss of life. The United States is proud of the strong ties we share with Armenia. From the end of World War I and again since the reemergence of an independent Armenian state in 1991–our country has sought a partnership with Armenia that promotes democracy–security cooperation–and free markets. Today–our Nation remains committed to a peace settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and is grateful for Armenia’s continuing cooperation in the war on terror. By advancing understanding and goodwill–free nations can help build a brighter future for the world. Our country seeks to help Armenia expand its strategic relations with the United States and our European allies. Generations of Armenian Americans have also strengthened our communities and enriched our Nation’s character. By preserving their heritage–faith–and traditions–Armenian Americans enhance the diversity that makes America great. I commend individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have worked to support peace and reconciliation–including through the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission–and call on Armenia and Turkey to restore their economic–political–and cultural ties. I also send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance."

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