President Trump

Trump Again Refrains from Using ‘Genocide’

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WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — In contrast with landmark resolutions adopted by the US Congress late last year, President Donald Trump again declined on April 24 to describe the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as genocide.

Just like his predecessors, Trump continued to use instead the Armenian phrase “Meds Yeghern” (Great Crime) in a statement on the 105th anniversary of the genocide.

“Today, we join the global community in memorializing the lives lost during the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,” read the statement. “Beginning in 1915, 1 and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.”

“On this day of remembrance, we pay respect to those who suffered and lost their lives, while also renewing our commitment to fostering a more humane and peaceful world,” it said, praising the “strength and resiliency of the Armenian people in the face of tragedy.”

Trump has previously issued virtually identical statements on what the White House calls Armenian Remembrance Day marked on April 24.

The US House of Representatives and Senate recognized the Armenian genocide in separate resolutions passed in October and December respectively.

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The Trump administration distanced itself from the resolutions.

The two leading Armenian-American advocacy groups strongly criticized Trump for not following the US lawmakers’ example.

“The Administration’s statement falls short of the national consensus as reflected in the unequivocal affirmation by the Congress of the United States which overwhelmingly adopted H. Res. 296 and S. Res. 150 last fall, as well as by 49 American states,” Bryan Ardouny, the executive director of the Armenian Assembly of America, said in a statement.

“Despite last year’s near-unanimous Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide, President Trump has, once again, granted Turkish President Erdogan — an openly anti-American dictator — a veto over honest US remembrance of Turkey’s WWI-era genocide of millions of Armenians and other Christians,” charged Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

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