OBAMA REFRAINS FROM CALLING ARMENIAN MASSACRES "GENOCIDE"
Agence France Presse
April 24 2009
WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama Friday refrained from
calling 1915 massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as "genocide"
but said he would not disown his use of the term during his White
Obama followed recent US diplomatic tradition by issuing a statement
on the Armenian Remembrance Day, branding the killings of more than 1.5
million people as "one of the great atrocities of the 20th century."
But after pressure from key US ally Turkey, which is currently
involved in reconciliation talks with Armenia, he did not use the word
Obama said reckoning with the past was the best way for the Turkish
and Armenian people to move forward and to work through their "painful
history" in a "way that is honest, open and constructive."
During his election campaign, Obama said in a speech that he had
stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey’s
acknowledgement of the "Armenian Genocide."
Despite bowing to diplomatic convention, Obama said in his statement
issued on Friday that he had not changed his mind.
"I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915,
and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the
achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts.
Turkey, which Obama visited on his first overseas trip this month,
categorically rejects the use of the word genocide, which is officially
recognized by France, Canada as well as the European Parliament.
Massacres and deportations of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks
during World War I caused the death of more than 1.5 million people,
according to Armenian sources, and between 250,000 and half a million
according to Turkey.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress