US Senate passes Armenia resolution

Chamber votes unanimously in favor of resolution to recognize alleged killings of Armenians in 1915

Servet Günerigök   | 12.12.2019
US Senate passes Armenia resolution


The U.S. Senate unanimously passed Thursday a resolution that recognizes the so-called Armenian genocide. 

"Our resolution to recognize and commemorate the #ArmenianGenocide just passed the United States Senate," Senator Bob Menendez announced on Twitter.

The resolution asserts that "it is the policy" of the U.S. to commemorate the alleged genocide "through official recognition and remembrance."

Last week, the White House asked Republican Senator Kevin Cramer to block voting on the resolution, according to the Axios news site. That marked the third time a Republican senator blocked the measure at the White House's request.

Last month, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham objected to passing the resolution after Menendez sought consent to pass it. Republican Senator David Perdue was also asked to block the resolution.

Cramer said he does not think it is "the right time" to pass the resolution, according to Axios.

The senator reportedly cited U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan at this month's NATO summit in London, saying the resolution could harm the Trump administration's diplomatic efforts.

In mid-November during his visit in Washington, Erdogan reiterated his call for historians to investigate the issue.

"If the U.S. side really wants to act fairly, it should refrain from taking a political stand on a matter that historians should decide," said Erdogan.

The president warned that listening to one side would lead to irreparable harms in Turkey-U.S. relations.

On Oct. 29, the anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the House voted 405-11 in favor of the resolution to recognize alleged killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to examine the issue.

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