Obama refrains from calling Armenian massacre as 'genocide'

In a statement issued on Armenian Remembrance Day, Obama reiterated his personal views on the killings but stopped short of using the term.

"Today is a day to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed," Obama said.

"It is in all of our interest to see the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts," he added.While campaigning as a presidential candidate, Obama had promised to call the mass slaughter of Armenians in Turkey as genocide.
"America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President," he said in 2008.
Since then the trappings of foreign policy and the need secure good relations with Turkey, a NATO ally, has prevented him from fulfilling his pledge.

Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman empire under which the killing of the Armenian population took place during and after the World War I, refuses to accept the word 'genocide' as an accurate description of the events.

Last year, the same commemoration also passed without Obama calling the events as a "genocide" nor did he do so while visiting Turkey in April 2009."On this solemn day of remembrance, we pause to recall that 95 years ago one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century began. In that dark moment of history, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire," he said yesterday.

In March this year, the Obama administration attempted to quash the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which voted narrowly on describing the killings as genocide.
The given reason was that the vote would disrupt Turkish- Armenian reconciliation efforts while Ankara briefly recalled its ambassador from Washington.Even though the statement did not carry the term "genocide," the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a protest.

"We deeply regret this statement which reflects an incorrect and one-sided political perception," it said. "Third countries neither have a right nor authority to judge the history of Turkish-Armenian relations with political motives," it said.

At the same time, the Armenian National Committee of America, an advocacy group based in the US also condemned Obama's remarks."In yet another disgraceful capitulation to Turkey's threats, President Obama today once again failed to properly recognise the Armenian Genocide, offering euphemisms and evasive terminology to characterise this crime against humanity," it said.

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