Reps. Schiff and Grimm Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Recognize the Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today called on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is visiting the United States, to formally acknowledge and apologize for the Armenian Genocide. Cicilline issued the following statement:

“Two million Armenian men, women and children living under the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Empire were systematically slaughtered or forced to leave their homeland. There is no doubt that this heinous, organized assault on the Armenian people constituted the first genocide of the 20th century. And yet, even today, nearly a hundred years later, the Turkish government continues to ignore the preponderance of evidence and deny a historical reality.”

“As Prime Minister Erdogan works to improve his country’s standing in the Middle East, and develop a stronger relationship with the United States, he should take this opportunity to acknowledge the atrocities that occurred once and for all, and issue a formal apology to the survivors and the descendants of the victims. His failure to do so would serve only to deepen an indelible stain on the history of his nation.”

Also today, Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY), along with David Valadao (R-CA) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), introduced a bipartisan House Resolution recognizing and commemorating the Armenian Genocide in the House of Representatives. The resolution calls upon the President to work toward equitable, constructive, and durable Armenian-Turkish relations based upon the Republic of Turkey’s full acknowledgement of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian Genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.

“The facts of history are well-settled – 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were deliberately murdered in the first genocide of the 20th Century,” Rep. Schiff said. “With each passing day, we lose a few more of the dwindling number of survivors. We should all feel a powerful sense of urgency, and the profound call of moral duty to recognize the Armenian Genocide unequivocally and without delay.”

“Almost a century ago, over a million Armenian men, women, and innocent children were mercilessly put to death by forces of the Ottoman Empire in a horrifying attempt to wipe them from the face of the earth,” said Rep. Grimm. “The U.S. has tirelessly defended justice and human rights throughout the world, and we have a solemn duty to recognize, once and for all, the injustices of the Armenian Genocide. On behalf of the Armenian community in New York City, I am proud to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in introducing Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Act.”

Congressman Valadao stated, “Many of those able to flee during the genocide immigrated to the United States and settled in California. Today, their families continue to grow, thrive, and instill their cultural heritage in their adopted communities. However, the sense of loss as a result of these horrific acts runs deep as many Armenian-Americans in my district personally know a friend or family member who was unable to escape the genocide. We must ensure that the United States government properly acknowledges what so many already know to be true.”

“The time for the U.S. to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide is long overdue,” said Congressman Frank Pallone, Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. “Armenian stands as a resilient ally of the United States and a nation dedicated to democracy and regional stability, and the Resolution introduced today shows that we will not stand idly by when the truth of this genocide is distorted by the Turkish government.”

Ninety-eight years ago, the systematic and deliberate annihilation campaign was launched by the government of the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian population. While the Armenian Genocide has been recognized by more than 20 nations including Canada, Italy, Sweden, France, Argentina and Russia, as well as the European Parliament, it has not been formally recognized by the U.S. Congress in decades.

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