On April 24, 2020, presidential candidate Joe Biden issued a statement indicating that if elected president, he would support the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Biden is now the President of the United States and is swiftly implementing all his campaign promises on domestic and foreign policy and economic and social issues.
As we approach the 106th anniversary of the Genocide, there is optimism among Armenians that the new occupant of the White House will finally live up to his commitment and this year, on April 24, will issue a message using the term “genocide” without hiding behind “medz yegern, tragic events, massacres” or other similar qualifications used by his predecessors.
These days many members of the US Congress and some in the media are reminding the President of the importance of honoring his commitment. In a recent opinion piece published by the Los Angeles Times, the paper’s Editorial Board writes, “President Biden has an opportunity this month to use honest and accurate terminology in describing the Ottoman Empire’s killing of more than 1 million Armenians a century ago. When the anniversary of the start of the massacre arrives, he can and should call it a genocide, a term that only one president – Ronald Reagan – has previously used in that context. And even then, Reagan made the reference as an aside in a proclamation about another atrocity, the Holocaust. In fact, it’s dumbfounding that calling what happened to the Armenians “genocide” is even debatable.”
According to sources close to the White House, the Biden administration will most likely take that step and call a spade a spade. The Turkish government is seriously concerned about this issue and is said to be conducting secret diplomacy to prevent Biden from using the term “Armenian Genocide.” Turkish sources report that Ankara even “promising” the US administration that it will take steps to normalize its relations with Armenia and is ready to open the borders between the two countries.
Currently, US-Turkey relations are at their lowest point ever. The United States is unhappy that its NATO ally is deploying a Russian S-400 missile system inside its territory. In response to which Turkey was kicked out of the state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets program. The new administration is unhappy with the role Turkey is playing in Syria against the Kurds and is paying more attention to President Erdogan’s campaign against his political opponents, as they are persecuted and imprisoned for long periods. In Turkey, they still remember Joe Biden’s interview with The New York Times, during which the future US president spoke about the removal of Erdogan’s dictatorship through elections.
Aside from all this, there is also the lack of personal relations between the two presidents. More than two months since taking office, Biden has not yet responded to Erdogan’s congratulatory phone call. White House press secretary Jen Psaki recently told reporters that “at some point” that phone call will take place. It is a fact that after the election of the new president, Erdogan lost his influence over the White House. The phone conversations between him and Donald Trump, to the astonishment of many political circles, were frequent, and often the former gave in to the wishes of the Turkish president.
In 2019, the two houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and then the Senate, almost unanimously passed resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide. President Trump refused to follow suit and was content with saying, “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century” in his 2020 message. Now it is up to President Joe Biden, who is considered a principled person and a man of his word, to use the accurate terminology.
We Are Looking forward To President Joe Biden To Fulfill His Promise by calling the Armenian Genocide by its true name.