White House mourns “most horrible tragedy” of Armenian killings

Agence France Presse
April 25, 2004 Sunday

White House mourns “most horrible tragedy” of Armenian killings


US President George W. Bush on Saturday mourned events in which up to
1.5 million Armenians died in orchestrated killings and during
deportations by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1917.

“On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible
tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1.5
million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the
Ottoman Empire,” Bush said a statement released by the White House.

“This terrible event remains a source of pain for people in Armenia
and Turkey and for all those who believe in freedom, tolerance, and
the dignity of every human life,” he said.

“I join with my fellow Americans and the Armenian community in the
United States and around the world in mourning this loss of life.”

Turkey categorically rejects claims of genocide and says that between
250,000 and 500,000 Armenians and thousands of Turks were killed in
civil strife during World War I, when the Armenians rose up against
their Ottoman rulers.

The United Nations, the European Parliament, Belgium, France, Greece
and Russia have recognised the Armenian genocide. Canadian lawmakers
voted a few days ago to recognise the massacre, calling it a “crime
against humanity”.

Bush said the United States “is proud of the strong ties we share
with Armenia. From the end of World War I and again since the
reemergence of an independent Armenian state in 1991, our country has
sought a partnership with Armenia that promotes democracy, security
cooperation, and free markets.”