April 24, 2017 - 21:19 AMT
Armenian Assembly of America reacts to Trump’s statement on Genocide

Armenian Assembly of America issued remarks following the U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement on the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide:

Today, as the Armenian Genocide is commemorated around the world, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) stands in solidarity with Armenians and non-Armenians alike in remembering the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan stated that "Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it - and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples - the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten." Reagan's statement reflects America's values and is a powerful reminder that words have meaning.

"President Trump's statement today demonstrates the need for the FBI and the Congressional Intelligence Committees to do thorough investigations of all the evidence on surreptitious Turkish influence on the U.S. government," stated Armenian Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. "At a time when Christians and minority communities continue to be in imminent danger and under constant attack, the President's statement fails to stand up for human rights and is inconsistent with American values, and represents the same kind of capitulation to Turkish authoritarianism which will cost more lives," the Co-Chairs added.

On April 10th, 84 Members of Congress signed a bipartisan letter to President Trump urging him to affirm the Armenian Genocide. Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) spearheaded the letter asking the White House to honor the United States' historic leadership in defending human rights and to properly characterize the events of 1915 as a genocide in this year's presidential statement on April 24th.

In addition, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) sent a letter to President Trump on April 21 and called on him to stand with the Armenian community and commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. "April 24th marks the anniversary of the genocide that Turkey sadly continues to deny to this day. Unequivocally affirming the Armenian Genocide would honor the more than 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred. It would also serve to remember this proud chapter in America's history of helping to save the survivors," Sen. Markey said.

Earlier this month, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) opened its Armenian Genocide Library in Washington, D.C., giving researchers access to over 5,000 publications on the Armenian Genocide and modern Armenian history. In February, ANI launched a Turkish-language version of its popular website documenting the facts and acknowledgments of the Armenian Genocide available at www.turkish.armenian-genocide.org.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues.