Biden Acknowledges Armenian Genocide Strains Relationship With Turkey
Biden acknowledges Armenian genocide, strains relationship with Turkey. The Democrat becomes the first American president to describe the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923 in this way.
Turkey “harshly condemns” the White House decision and asks the US to look at its past before giving lessons.
Joe Biden has done this Saturday what so many of his predecessors never dared to do. The president of the United States has formally recognized as a “genocide” the systematic killings, disappearances and deportations of Armenians at the hands of the Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and its subsequent years.
The decision comes a year after the Democrat publicly promised it to the Armenian-American community and will serve to reaffirm the commitment he made in the campaign to defend human rights . But his stance, which has no practical consequences, will also contribute to straining the relationship with Turkey , a key NATO ally, which has been quick to condemn the passage of the White House.
Biden called the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the day before to communicate directly his plans to recognize the genocide, always denied by Turkey, which disputes that there was a campaign to annihilate the Armenian people between 1915 and 1923. At that time, two million Armenians were deported and 1.5 million were killed .
It was the first call between the two leaders in the three months since the Democrat took power. “The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began today 106 years ago,” Biden said in a statement this Saturday, coinciding with the commemoration of those tragic events. “We affirm history. We do not do it to attribute blame but to ensure that what happened does not happen again ”.
The news has been welcomed by the Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinya , who has described it as “a great step towards justice” , but has not been slow to arouse the indignation of the Ankara Government.
“We strongly condemn and reject the president’s statements , which only repeat the accusations of those whose only agenda is enmity towards our country,” Erdogan’s spokesman said. “We recommend that the president of the United States look at the past and present of his country.”