Bush Commemorates Armenian ‘Tragedy’


April 25 2008

Bush describes the killing of 1.5 million Armenians at the end of
the Ottoman era as ‘one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century’.

"On this day of remembrance, we honor the memory of the victims of
one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the mass killings
and forced exile of as many as 1.5 million Armenians," US President
George W. Bush said in a statement Thursday.

Bush deliberately avoided the word "genocide" to describe the mass

Some members of the US House of Representative last year stopped
short of voting on a resolution that would have branded the killings
genocide. The move, at the time, strained the relationship between
the US and Turkey.

"I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in
commemorating this tragedy and mourning the loss of so many innocent
lives," the statement added.

Armenia claims that more than 1.5 million of its citizens were genocide
systematically by the Ottomans during World War I, prior to the birth
of Turkey in 1923.

Turkey categorically rejects the claim, insisting that some 300,000
Armenians and thousands of Turks are victims of widespread chaos
and governmental breakdown as the 600-year-old empire collapsed
before 1923.

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