By David Brennan
WASHINGTON (Newsweek) — Sen. Lindsey Graham has come under fire for blocking a Senate resolution acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, nixing the House recognition of the 20th century Ottoman Empire-era massacres that passed last month by a 405-11 vote.
Graham made the move soon after meeting with President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was in Washington Wednesday, November 13, as the two leaders sought to mend bilateral relations damaged by recent Turkish foreign policy.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez requested consent to pass the resolution, The Hill reported, seeking “official recognition and remembrance” of the anti-Armenian campaign that killed more than 1 million people from 1915 to 1923.
The Ottoman government forcibly relocated hundreds of thousands of Armenians to the deserts of Syria and elsewhere during this period. Victims were either killed or died from starvation and exhaustion.
Menendez said U.S. foreign policy must “reflect an honest accounting of human rights abuses, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide. We cannot turn our backs on the Armenian victims of genocide.”