WASHINGTON — During the confirmation hearing of former US Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to serve as the next US Ambassador to Turkey, on September 28, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), pressed Flake on Turkey’s ongoing denial in light of US affirmation of the Armenian Genocide by President Joe Biden, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
Menendez stated that “for many decades, the Armenian Genocide has been denied by the descendants of those who perpetrated it. In 2019, the Senate recognized the Armenian Genocide for the first time. In April of this year, on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, President Biden joined us in acknowledging this truth. In the past you’ve voted against resolutions that recognized the Armenian Genocide. Will you join this body and the Administration in reaffirming the Armenian Genocide?”
Flake responded: “Yes.”
Menendez continued: “If you’re confirmed, will you reiterate that commitment on April 24, which is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day?”
Flake responded: “I will.”
In addition, Menendez, along with his colleagues, raised a number of concerns about Turkey’s continued intentions to purchase additional Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft weapons systems, which military analysts have determined compromise NATO and US security. They also raised questions about Turkey’s visible lack of respect for human rights and freedom of the press, with more journalists in prison that any other country, with the exception of Communist Party-controlled China.