WASHINGTON – Elvir Klempic is the National Affinity and Ethnic Engagement Director for the Joseph Biden presidential campaign. He has issued a statement on his role in the Biden campaign and his position on the Armenian Genocide and related issues.
Klempic was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and as a refugee, came to Iowa, where he graduated Iowa State University with a degree in political science and international studies in 2014. In addition to involvement in politics through the Democratic Party, and organizing Bosnian Americans, his connection with Turkey has been strong.
Klempic participated in an NGO leadership seminar in Konya, Turkey in the summer of 2013. Prior to his Biden campaign position he worked as executive director of the Turkish Heritage Organization (THO). This organization has been associated with efforts to deny the Armenian Genocide, and THO has promoted the interests of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in many spheres in the US. This has led to concerns among Armenian Americans about what this means for the position of the Biden campaign on the Armenian Genocide and other issues important to them.
Kemplic’s statement follows.
The Biden for President ethnic engagement operation has become one of the largest in the history of presidential campaigns; one that proudly transverses a plethora of diverse American-ethnic communities. As we pioneer this large operation, I have made it a personal goal to ensure that the campaign is actively working to address the issues raised by ethnic communities in the United States. Foreign policy being of high interest to ethnic communities, my personal views related to foreign affairs issues and ethnic communities do not reflect those of my previous employers, but instead fully and wholeheartedly align with those of Vice President Joe Biden. This includes the Vice President’s pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and the Vice President’s views on the conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, among others. As a child who survived the horrors of the Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia, I work for the campaign because I believe the Vice President is the right person to lead our nation, to address human rights concerns, and to fight for what is right. He will ensure that the voices of those unheard in America and around the world are heard, and I am honored to be a part of his team and support his views and efforts.
John McCarthy, Deputy Political Director for Biden for President declared on this topic: “The Vice President takes this very seriously and has made clear his position on the Armenian Genocide. This is an issue that has gotten a really meaningful elevation and the VP has demonstrated his commitment.”