The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) is thankful to President Joseph R. Biden for having the courage and humanity to formally and unequivocally recognize the Armenian Genocide, thereby ending the longest-lasting foreign gag rule in American history and dealing a major setback to Turkey’s century-long obstruction of justice for this crime against humanity.
In joining with the U.S. Senate and House, 49 U.S. states, and a dozen NATO allies, President Biden has rejected decades of American complicity in Turkey’s denials and confirmed a government-wide irreversible U.S policy officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide. This recognition is a victory for the Armenian-American community and coalition partners and is a fitting tribute to America’s own heroic role in saving hundreds of thousands of survivors of the genocide through the Near East Relief.
Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is most meaningful and constructive when it includes acknowledgement of its consequences past and present. As a result of decades of impunity, it is clear that the Armenian Genocide never ended. It continues, to this very day, in the ongoing actions of Turkey and its partner Azerbaijan, who proclaim themselves to be “one nation, two states,” as they persist in their attempts to ethnically cleanse the region of Armenians and ultimately erase any trace of their presence from their ancient homeland.
Armenian Genocide recognition is particularly impactful now in the wake of the unprovoked attack against Armenia and Artsakh by Turkey and Azerbaijan in the fall of 2020 that resulted in a regional humanitarian disaster, occupation of Artsakh territories, displacement of over 100,000 Armenians from their homes, ongoing Azerbaijani imprisonment of over 200 Armenian POWS, and intentional destruction of Armenian cultural monuments. As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brazenly promises to “finish what our grandfathers started,” and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev continues to threaten renewed aggression against Armenia, proclaiming that “Armenians of the world are our enemies,” their ongoing unabashed genocidal intent toward the Armenian People is obvious and undeniable and must be stopped.
As a next step, President Biden’s recognition of the genocide must pivot the U.S. toward a sustained policy that meaningfully and materially supports Artsakh’s survival and Armenia’s security, while forcefully challenging Turkey and Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian aggression. Alongside growing global condemnation of this crime, U.S. recognition also isolates Turkey and undermines its denials, increasing pressure upon Ankara to end its campaign of lies, cease its obstruction of justice, and come to terms with its own history.
The Armenian Genocide is Turkey’s original sin, setting the stage for over a century of human rights violations and repression against its Assyrian, Greek, Kurdish and other minorities of the Turkish state and undermining its own democratic future. Without a truthful, just, and comprehensive resolution of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey can never be a reliable ally of the United States.
On the occasion of this momentous victory for the Armenian Cause, and as we enter the next phase of our struggle, the ANCA Western Region recommits itself to continue its fight to secure justice for the Armenian Nation.