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38 Senators Urge President Biden to Affirm the Armenian Genocide

Washington, D.C. - Today, 38 Senators, led by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), urged President Joe Biden to officially recognize the truth of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). The bipartisan letter was signed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Susan Collins (R-ME), John Cornyn (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). They noted President Biden’s record on affirming the Armenian Genocide and highlighted his April 24th Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day statement in 2020, wherein he stated: “It is particularly important to speak these words and commemorate this history at a moment when we are reminded daily of the power of truth, and of our shared responsibility to stand against hate — because silence is complicity.” In the letter to President Biden, the Senators also stated: “We join the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in honoring the memory of these victims, and we stand firmly against attempts to pretend that this intentional, organized effort to destroy the Armenian people was anything other than a genocide. You have correctly stated that American diplomacy and foreign policy must be rooted in our values, including respect for universal rights. Those values require us to acknowledge the truth and do what we can to prevent future genocides and other crimes against humanity.” Recalling the historic passage of legislation in the Senate and House last Congress, affirming the fact of the Armenian Genocide, the letter called on the executive branch to make its position clear as Congress has already done. Speaking at the Assembly's Virtual National Advocacy Conference last week, Senator Menendez reflected on the historic and unanimous passage in December 2019 of the Armenian Genocide resolution, S.Res.150. “We persisted, and finally the Senate stood up to Turkey’s lies and passed the resolution unanimously,” Senator Menendez said. “It was a truly historic day and made possible in large part by the advocacy of the Armenian Assembly and the greater Armenian American community.” The legislation states in part that it is the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States: (1) to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance; (2) to reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and (3) to encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the role of the United States in humanitarian relief efforts, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity. "We applaud Chairman Menendez and his Senate colleagues. Today’s bipartisan support by 38 Senators helps advance the cause of genocide affirmation. America’s humanitarian intervention at the time of the genocide, the extraordinary efforts of our diplomats, and the groundswell of support of everyday Americans to help save the Armenian people is truly remarkable,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “It is a chapter in America’s history that we can all be proud of. We urge President Biden to unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide.”

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


NR# 2021-27

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