Armenians genocide: Biden risks friction with Turkey

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FILE PHOTO: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about responses to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic at an event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

President Joe Biden has become the first US president to officially acknowledge that the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I was a genocide.

Biden who made the declaration in a speech on Saturday risks a potential fracture with Turkey, but his comments have signaled US commitment to global human rights.

In a statement marking the 106th anniversary of the massacre’s start, Biden said;

“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring.

“Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future, toward the world that we wish to build for our children.

“A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security.

“Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world.

“And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.”

The move has finally fulfilled Biden’s campaign pledge to finally use the word genocide to describe the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians in what is now Turkey more than a century ago.

Biden’s predecessors in the White House had stopped short of using the word, wary of damaging ties with a key regional ally.

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