WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a long-time champion of Armenian issues, along with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who had previously served as co-chair of the Armenian Caucus during his tenure in the House of Representatives (House), urged their colleagues to cosponsor a new Armenian Genocide Resolution.
“In the face of Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide, we commend Senator Menendez for his unbreakable commitment to reaffirm the incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide,” said Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We also commend Senator Kirk for his ongoing efforts to ensure that the proud chapter in US history to help save the survivors of this terriblecrime against humanity is not forgotten.” The Senate Armenian Genocide Resolution, which will be officially introduced later this month, is similar to the House version, and adds a key finding from the 1951 US filing before the International Court of Justice concerning the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Specifically, the document highlighted the fact that “the Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacre of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.”
The Senate action comes as Secretary Hillary Clinton last week clarified her remarks on the Armenian Genocide and also as Senators Scott Brown, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kirk intro- duced legislation, S.Res.392, on the protection of religious proper- ty and minorities in Turkey. Their effort builds on last year’s successful House passage of similar legislation.
“Genocide affirmation and education are the keys to prevention,” stated Ardouny. “We urge all anti-genocide activists and people of good will to contact their Senators to cosponsor this important human rights legislation,” Ardouny added.
Menendez said: “Only when history’s darkest hours are acknowledged and understood can we truly learn from the lessons of the past and build a peaceful future. With the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide approaching in 2015 and few survivors remaining, we must strengthen our resolve to unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide.”