TBILISI (VOA)—Republican US Senator John McCain, in a recent interview with the Georgian service of Voice of America said he believed “ample documentation” exists proving that “Genocide had been committed against the Armenian people.”
“I believe that a genocide was committed against Armenians, and I think there is ample documentation of that,” McCain was quoted as saying. “The Turkish and Armenian people and states cannot forget the past. Especially Armenians cannot.”
“Because of that,” McCain said, he understood and agreed with Armenia’s efforts to normalize relations with Turkey on a step-by-step basis. “I support that view,” he said.
“We are witnessing significant progress in the relations between Turkey and Armenia,” McCain added. For the first time, parties are making steps towards the same direction.”
McCain dodged the issue during his presidential campaign in 2008, failing to properly characterize the crime as Genocide. The Arizona Senator is running for re-election in the 2010 Senate race.
During the US Presidential Campaign, Senator McCain formally asked for the support of Armenian American voters in an open letter. The Arizona Senator praised the Armenian American contribution to American society, and Armenia’s contribution to Coalition operations in Iraq and NATO peacekeeping in Kosovo, but failed to outline his stands on core Armenian American issues.
At the time, McCain remained silent on Nagorno Karabagh, the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, U.S. aid to Armenia, and the broader issue of U.S.-Armenia relations. He did, as he has done over the years, echo the Bush Administration’s practice of employing euphemistic language such as “terrible tragedy” to avoid mentioning the Armenian Genocide by its proper name.
Senator McCain has, throughout his tenure in the Congress, largely opposed or was passively indifferent to a broad array of Armenian American issues. In October 2007, Senator McCain publicly opposed Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In 1999, he voted against restricting U.S. aid to Azerbaijan over its blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh. He voted against Senator Bob Dole’s Armenian Genocide Resolution in 1990.