ANCA Challenges State Depratment Effort to Defeat Armenian Genocide Legislation

"Official US recognition and Turkish acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide are not–as the Department argues–obstacles to improved Armenia-Turkey relations–but rather essential keys to progress toward the normalization of relations between these two states." –Ken Hachikian

WASHINGTON–DC–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today responded formally to the State Department’s efforts–in the days leading up to the House International Relations Committee’s September 15 approval of two resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide–to defeat these measures and prevent official US recognition of this crime against humanity.

In an October 5 letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice–ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian voiced the profound moral outrage of Armenia’s over the Administration’s ongoing complicity in Turkey’s campaign of genocide denial. In his two-page letter–Hachikian explained the Armenian American community’s opposition–on moral–geo-political and democratic grounds–to the State Department’s obstruction of Congressional efforts to reaffirm the Armenian Genocide.

Hachikian said in the letter–"the Department’s assertion that even House floor debate on Armenian Genocide legislation would harm U.S. interests is both fundamentally undemocratic and offensive to all those elected to represent us in our national legislature… American interests are served by the open functioning of our democratic institutions–not by "gag-orders" – imposed by a foreign government and enforced by our own State Department – regarding what can and cannot be discussed by members of the U.S. Congress."

On September 15–after nearly three hours of debate–the House International Relations Committee–voted overwhelmingly in favor of two measures (HRES 316 and HCON 195) calling for proper U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and urging Turkey to end its decades long denial of this crime against humanity.

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