Obama Reaffirms Pledge to Recognize Genocide

WASHINGTON–With just days left to the crucial November 4th presidential elections, the Obama-Biden campaign reaffirmed its commitment to Armenian Genocide recognition and a strong U.S.-Armenia relationship, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

A statement titled "Barack Obama: Supporting U.S.-Armenia Relations," relayed to Armenia’s for Obama Chairman Areen Ibran’ssian earlier Friday as well as the ANCA, affirms that "The Armenian Genocide, carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulted in the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenia’s, and approximately 1.5 million of those deported were killed. Barack Obama believes we must recognize this tragic reality and strongly supports a U.S.-Armenian relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy." The statement goes on to note "Barack Obama strongly supports passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106) and will recognize the Armenian Genocide."

"The ANCA welcomes further reaffirmation of Barack Obama’s strong commitment to issues of concern to the Armenian American community, including proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide and fostering a strong U.S.-Armenia relationship," stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "ANCA chapters and activists across the U.S. will continue, in these last days, to work hard for the Obama-Biden ticket and the candidacies of the large number of Senators and Representatives who have supported Armenian American concerns."

The Obama-Biden statement comes amid a flurry of reports in the Turkish press regarding a meeting that supposedly took place over the last several days between a senior Turkish official, Ahmet Davutoglu, and a representative of the Obama-Biden Campaign, after which Davutoglu called into question Obama’s commitment to this core human rights issue.

Last week, the ANCA formalized its longstanding support for Barack Obama with an official endorsement of the Obama-Biden campaign for the Presidency of the United States. The ANCA had first endorsed Sen. Obama in January, 2008, leading up to the critical super-Tuesday primary elections.

As always, the ANCA welcomes feedback on its service to the Armenian American community. Please forward your thoughts and suggestions about the 2008 Presidential election by email to anca@anca.org.

The complete text of the latest Obama-Biden campaign statement is provided below.

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Barack Obama: Supporting U.S.-Armenia Relations

The Armenian Genocide, carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulted in the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenia’s, and approximately 1.5 million of those deported were killed. Barack Obama believes we must recognize this tragic reality and strongly supports a U.S.-Armenian relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy.

Recognition of the Armenian Genocide: Barack Obama shares with Armenian Americans a principled commitment to ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history. As a senator, Obama has stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey’s acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide. He criticized the Secretary of State two years ago for the firing of the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he used the term "genocide" to describe Turkey’s slaughter of thousands of Armenia’s starting in 1915. Obama wrote that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.

Barack Obama strongly supports passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106) and will recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Genocide Prevention: The U.S. and the entire global community must remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to make sure that they never happen again. Sadly, genocide persists today and threatens our common security and common humanity. In Sudan, we are witnessing many of the same brutal tactics -displacement, starvation, and mass slaughter – that were used by the Ottoman authorities against Armenia’s in 1915. Obama has been a leading voice urging the Bush administration to take stronger steps to end the genocide in Sudan. He traveled to the United Nations to meet with Sudanese officials, visited refugee camps on the Chad-Sudan border, pushed for the deployment of a robust multinational force for Darfur, and urged divestment from companies doing business in Sudan.

Commitment to Armenian Americans: Barack Obama has a strong record on issues of concern to the 1.5 million Americans of Armenian heritage in the United States. As president, Obama will maintain our assistance to Armenia, which has been a reliable partner in the fight against terrorism and extremism. An Obama administration will help foster Armenia’s growth and development through expanded trade and targeted aid. He will also strengthen the commercial, political, military, developmental, and cultural relationships between the U.S. and Armenian governmen’s. Obama will continue his active engagement with Armenian American leaders on the full range of issues of concern to the Armenian American community to build upon the enduring ties and shared values that have bound together the American and Armenian peoples for more than a century.

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