Leading Armenian civic, religious and social service organizations called on Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian to urge President Barack Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and stand strong against Turkish Government efforts to use the Turkey-Armenia Protocols to block international genocide affirmation efforts.
The April 9 letter cited the Armenian American community’s efforts to secure U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, including the recent House Foreign Affairs Committee consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252), which passed with a vote of 23-22, despite strong opposition from the Turkish Government and the Obama Administration. The letter noted broad-based community concern regarding the use of the Turkey-Armenia Protocols by resolution opponents, urging a “united front” by Diasporan Armenians and the Armenian people and State against such efforts to undermine the historic rights of the Armenian Nation.
The letter goes on to urge President Sargsyan to stand strong by his own words against the misuse of a so-called “historical commission” to call into question the Armenian Genocide and to continue calls to President Obama and international leaders to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The signatories also called on the Armenian President to announce that the Turkey-Armenia Protocol discussions cannot continue “given Turkey’s unconstructive and adversarial policy” throughout the process.
We present the complete text of the letter below:
As one of the Armenian diaspora’s largest and most organized communities, Armenian-Americans for decades have been carrying the torch of Armenian Genocide recognition and the restoration of our historical rights.
As you well know, one of the latest successes of this long struggle was the passage of the Genocide Resolution in the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. This was not an easy victory. Many congressmen used the excuse of not jeopardizing the Armeno-Turkish reconciliation process to escape from supporting this resolution.
It is imperative that the Armenian people — of Diaspora and Homeland — along with the government, present a common front when facing such destructive obstacles in our path of internationalizing Armenian Genocide recognition, which will only serve to restore our rights.
On April 12-13, 2010, you will be present at the Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington, DC.
We therefore call on you, Honorable President, to bolster the hard work of Armenian-Americans by using this opportunity to publicly appreciate the passage of House Res. 252, and the Congressmen who voted for its passage; you will thereby send a message to the whole world by emphasizing the importance of internationalization of Armenian Genocide recognition, based on the following principles:
1 – The intergovernmental commission called for in the protocols, designed to promote “historical cannot question the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide. Quoting from your remarks in the April 4, 2010 issue of Der Spiegel:
“The creation of such a commission will undermine the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide. That is unacceptable for us. The creation of such a commission would only have a meaning if Turkey confessed to its crime. At that point, scientists could analyze the reasons for this horror.”
2 – The dialogue between Armenia and Turkey and the signed protocols cannot be used as an excuse to derail the Armenian Genocide recognition process. Quoting from your remarks in Der Zor on March 24, 2010: “We do not accept the usage of Armeno-Turkish rapprochement as an excuse to escape from the recognition of the Genocide.”
3 – Call on the US President and the international community to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. As you have said, “America, Europe, Germany, and all other governments that are involved in the Armeno-Turkish reconciliation process should announce their position publicly. If all these governments had recognized the Genocide, Turks would not make such pronouncements.”
4 – And finally, we hope and expect — considering the hardening and threatening posture of Turkey — that while in Washington, you will announce that the process between Armenia and Turkey that has begun with these signed protocols cannot continue because of Turkey’s destructive and antagonistic posture.
We are certain that our plea will be echoed. We believe that, as Armenia’s President, following Der Zor and Yerevan, you will continue to call for justice in memory of the victims, in Washington also.
Armenian-Americans, with our aim of strengthening our nation, will continue our efforts to preserve our homeland’s national security and future prosperity. It is our expectation that the President of Armenia and the Armenian government stand with the Diaspora by utilizing your government’s powers in the effort toward the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the just resolution our cause.
We look forward to your public appearances.