In a confidential communication cable recently exposed by Wikileaks, the U.S. State Department urged dialogue and reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey while being completely aware that Turkish archives containing important documents related to the Armenian Genocide had been purged by Turkish officials.
In an open letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Armenian Council of America urges the State Department to change its stance on the Armenian Genocide and engage the government of Turkey to acknowledge its historical past.
The full text of the letter appears below:
Dear Secretary Clinton:
On behalf of the Armenian Council of America and Armenian Americans throughout the nation, we are outraged that the U.S. State Department, while having information on important documents on the Armenian Genocide being destroyed in the Turkish archives, encouraged the Republics of Armenia and Turkey to engage in the Armenian-Turkish Protocols which included a provision “implementing a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore historical confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations.”
As Americans, we expected the U.S. State Department, our representative in the international community, to be an impartial and an honest broker in order to foster harmony and good-will between Armenia and Turkey. Yet, through diplomatic cables disclosed by Wikileaks, reveal that the State Department completely aware that Turkish archives containing important documents related to the Armenian Genocide had been purged by Turkish officials, continued the façade that the Protocols are a right step towards bilateral relations.
Peace and cooperation are components to the region’s prosperity, and the Armenian Council of America is willing to work towards that endeavor, however, these important elements cannot be achieved at the cost of a historical accuracy.
Distorting the Armenian Genocide in favor of international or domestic political and economic gain is counterintuitive to progress and creates a precedent for allowing future genocides and human rights violations to occur.
Madame Secretary, we urge you to correct your Department’s stance on the Armenian Genocide. Genocide is not an acceptable crime and genocide denial in the 21st century is unfathomable. We also request your Department to engage the government of Turkey in persuading them to stop denying the Armenian Genocide and to acknowledge their historical past.