WASHINGTON – House Resolution 296, recognizing the Armenian Genocide and opposing its denial, was accepted by the US House of Representatives by a lopsided majority of 405 to 11 (and 3 present votes) on October 29.
This non-legally binding resolution states that the sense of US policy is to 1) commemorate the Armenian Genocide officially; 2) reject attempts to associate the US government with its denial; and 3) encourage education and public understanding of the facts of this genocide, and its relevance to current crimes against humanity.
The Armenian Genocide is broadly defined in the resolution to include among its victims Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians.
Turkey’s recent incursion into Syria against the Kurds seems to have been a final blow to any American support for Turkish genocide denial. The US House also just passed economic sanctions against Turkey, indicating a shift in policy towards Turkey may be occurring, and the genocide resolution was another tool to be used to pressure the latter.
“I think some of us are a little bit annoyed with Turkey, and we want them to know how much annoyed we are,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., told National Public Radio (NPR) last week.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to the Washington Post when asked on October 29 whether President Donald Trump’s green light to Turkey’s Syrian invasion eased the way toward Armenian Genocide recognition, replied, ““There was just an aura of what the Turks could be doing, is engaged again in genocide, by the greenlight that the president gave them. So that was sort of a callback.”