NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement in observance of the 104th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
“Every April, we come together in solidarity with the Armenian people to remember the 1.5 million victims that perished in the Armenian genocide. This year marks the 104th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire’s systematic campaign to exterminate the Armenian population through killings, starvation, forced deportation, and untold brutality. Portraying the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians as nothing more than a consequence of World War I is a distortion of history at best, and at worst, a contrived excuse for an unthinkable atrocity.
“During this time of remembrance, we must pause in memory of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, recommit ourselves to the commemoration of the Armenian genocide, reject all forms of its denial, and reinforce our support for public education regarding the facts and lessons of this crime.
“For far too long, Turkey has been allowed to exercise a veto on the U.S. government’s recognition of the genocide. Making matters worse, I am dismayed to see President Trump’s statement today that stopped short of calling the Armenian genocide what it is – a genocide. We must continue to fight for the day when the Armenian genocide is recognized as an irrefutable fact. Only with truth can we confront our history, learn its lessons, and ensure this never happens again to any peoples.”
A Congressional champion for U.S.-Armenian relations, Menendez led a bipartisan group of Senators earlier this month in introducing a Senate resolution to ensure the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning the Armenian genocide.