Assembly Statement on Presidents Biden & Erdogan's NATO Meeting
Washington, D.C. - During President Joe Biden's press conference today at the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium, the President stated that he had a "productive" conversation with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide was not discussed during the presidents’ bilateral meeting.
In the lead-up to today's meeting between Presidents Biden and Erdoğan, it was widely reported that Erdoğan was going to "blast [Biden] for his recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide," with national security advisor Jake Sullivan indicating that President Biden was prepared to talk about the Armenian Genocide.
The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) applauds President Biden’s commitment to America’s values and U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. President Biden's affirmation of the Armenian Genocide this April showed America at its best.
The Assembly remains deeply concerned about the destructive role that Turkey played during the 44-day war last Fall, launched by Azerbaijan against the Armenian people amid a pandemic, and the ethnic cleansing of Armenians from their historic homeland of Artsakh (Nagorno- Karabakh). The Assembly recalls President Biden's "demand" from last year that Turkey stay out of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and work "to prevent interference by third parties, including nation-states like Turkey."
President Erdoğan needs to be judged by his actions and not his words. He continues to inflame tensions in Artsakh. He is scheduled to travel to Shushi on June 16, home of the historic Ghazanchetsots Cathedral - deliberately targeted by Azerbaijani shelling in last Fall's war - for the groundbreaking of a Grey Wolves school, led by the Turkish Grey Wolves organization, recently banned in France, and which is known to be an ultranationalist terrorist group.
Throughout the G7 and NATO summits, President Biden made it plain that the defense of democracy demands the attention of America and its allies and partners around the world. It is clear through its actions domestically and internationally – in Artsakh, Cyprus, Libya, Syria, and in the Mediterranean Sea – that the authoritarian Erdoğan regime is diametrically opposed to democratic values and the rule of law. As Secretary Blinken emphasized during his nomination hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the U.S. should be clear-eyed in its current relationship with Turkey and the Assembly urges the Administration to remain vigilant in this regard.
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.