Biden Recognizes Armenia Genocide


”Image of Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan” Photo courtesy of: Wikipedia Commons

Nathan Palomares

President Biden’s first term has been a consequential one from enacting executive orders on stimulus checks to the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan on September 11. But on April 24, the Biden Administration became the first President in U.S. history to recognize the mass killings of an estimated 1 million ethnic Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1917. This will probably be one of the most controversial moves the Biden Administration will make throughout his presidency.

Previous presidents have avoided the term ‘genocide,’ such as the case with President Obama, were in a White House in 2016 used the word atrocity. “Today we solemnly reflect on the first mass atrocity of the 20th century,” Obama says. 

 Recognizing it as an ‘atrocity instead of a genocide has been the tradition of past presidents who wanted to avoid angering Turkey. Turkey is a regional ally and member of NATO. But now that we have a new president in 2021, our relationship with Turkey continues to be strained not only with the “genocide” but after President Biden called Turkey’s leader Erdogan an Autocrat. 

In response, the Turkish foreign ministry says, “Biden’s statement opened a wound and deeply injured the Turkish people.” 

Whatever the reasoning was for a sudden change in policy, no one will appreciate this more than the millions of Armenians in America, many of whom live here in the California L.A. area. 

The Armenian National Committee of America says, “President Joseph Biden officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, today, rejecting the longest-lasting foreign gag-rule in American history and dealing a major setback to Turkey’s century-long obstruction of justice for this crime, a move welcomed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). In joining with the U.S. Senate and House, 49 U.S. states, and a dozen NATO allies, President Biden has ended a century-long era of American complicity in Turkey’s denials.” This has brought great relief to not just Armenians living in America but all around the world.

While Biden taking on this feat is great, many Armenians believe it’s just the first step. Recently the ANCA has expressed their disappointment with Biden who has recently waived congressional sanctions on Azerbaijan, which were at war with Armenian some months ago. 

“American recognition of the Armenian Genocide comes with responsibilities, among them, not arming or abetting Azerbaijan’s drive to complete this crime,” says ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

Biden’s words have rung around the world, and there are many who are happy. But many want to make sure his words also take the form of action.