More than 300 European Organizations Urge Obama to Recognize Genocide

BRUSSELS–A letter signed by more than 340 European organizations is urging US President Barack Obama to stand firm against Turkish pressure and honor his campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, reported the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy.

The letter, sent to the White House while the President was in London for the G20 summit Friday, stresses that a failure to recognize the Armenian genocide “would be interpreted by genocide-perpetrating governments as a full license to continue their bloody acts.” It highlights Turkey’s growing support for the Sudanese government as a contemporary example of how the genocide in Darfur continues because states like Turkey have gone unpunished for committing the same crime.

“Recognizing the Armenian Genocide means moving toward a durable peace; it means more stability, more justice and more democracy in the region,” said Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation. “These are European values. The European Armenian Federation shares these values with President Obama and we hope these values can once again become the bulwark of US policy.”

A proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the United States, the petition says, “will unleash the momentum of true change and democratization inside Turkey” and “provide unprecedented momentum to the process of dialogue between Turkey and Armenia.”

A principled stand by the United States would “definitely require of Turkey a fundamental commitment to a just peace,” the letter adds.

The letter states that European Armenians along with other European mainstream democratic forces would never accept Turkey’s membership in the EU as long as “the Turkish state denies the Armenian Genocide, promotes racism and pursues a policy of discrimination towards its minorities.”

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