Assembly Statement on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day
Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America welcomes the President’s statement affirming once again the Armenian Genocide, which is a testament to the proud chapter in American history in helping to save the survivors of the first genocide of the 20th century through America’s unprecedented humanitarian intervention. “Today’s statement reinforces that the Armenian Genocide is an institutional part of the American record and history,” stated Armenian Assembly Board Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “As we remember and honor the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide, Armenians everywhere stand with the people of Artsakh and call upon the international community, and their respective governments, to take effective measures to prevent genocide, be it against Armenians or any other race, religious group or any other people protected under international law," they continued. The Assembly appreciates President Biden conveying core American and bipartisan values, and also recalls President Ronald Reagan’s Holocaust proclamation on April 22, 1981, when he reflected on the “genocide of the Armenians before it.” The more countries that recognize the Armenian Genocide the more it will help Turkey come to terms with its past, and we applaud Garo Paylan for introducing legislation in the Turkish parliament to recognize the Armenian Genocide, particularly during a time when the Turkish Foreign Minister taunted Armenians with the racist and terrorist Gray Wolves sign, unmasking the true nature of the Erdogan regime and making President Biden's action of reaffirmation all the more important. As we mark the 107th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Assembly is deeply concerned over the unresolved fate of the Armenian people of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). There are only two countries which actively deny the Armenian Genocide and they are the same two countries, Turkey and Azerbaijan that conducted a brutal war in 2020 against the Armenian people of Artsakh – laying the groundwork and conditions for what threatens to be the next chapter of the Armenian Genocide. The lessons of the 1915 Genocide are self-apparent as is Turkey’s continued campaign of denial. A defenseless people at the mercy of an exterminatory war machine is at grave risk. The government of Azerbaijan has made it clear that it has no intentions to honor the existence of a community rooted in a homeland it has inhabited for millennia. All of its statements repeat the objective of putting Artsakh out of existence. It should not require explaining the true consequences of this policy should it begin to be implemented. The international community has rallied to the cause of Ukraine and arming its people to defend themselves. The people of Artsakh deserve no less. Neither the fate of the Ukrainians nor that of the Artsakh Armenians are occurring in a vacuum. There is a long and bloody preceding history that has set the stage for what is unfolding. The odds, however, are not the same for Artsakh Armenians. They deserve as much protection as any other people facing aggression and, in their particular case, complete dispossession is not ruled out under current circumstances. There are many ways in which genocide is implemented. It does not always arrive as a single episode of uncontrolled violence. It can as effectively creep along village by village, town by town, city by city, until it has just as thoroughly extinguished the life of a community.
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.