WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs have written to their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to sign a letter to President Donald Trump to affirm the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), David Valadao (R-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Trott (R-MI) and Vice-Chairs Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) are urging the White House to honor the United States’ historic leadership in defending human rights and to properly characterize the events of 1915 as a genocide in this year’s presidential statement on April 24th.
In the “Dear Colleague” letter, the Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs recalled America’s humanitarian intervention: “Among the proudest chapters in our shared history is America’s remarkable record of protesting the Genocide and in caring for the survivors of this crime.” The letter highlighted the Near East Relief, a Congressionally chartered humanitarian organization which raised $116 million (over $2.5 billion in 2017 dollars) to aid the victims of the Ottoman Empire’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Pontians, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples.
Additionally, the letter states: “In leading an honest and accurate American remembrance of this known case of genocide, you will stand with President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice.”
President Ronald Reagan squarely acknowledged the Armenian Genocide stating that “Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it – and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples – the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”