The Armenian Genocide Recognized by the US House of Representatives

The hemicycle has formally recognized an overwhelming majority of the Armenian genocide, in an unprecedented vote to arouse the wrath of Turkey.

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The United States House of Representatives formally recognized, on Tuesday, October 29, by an overwhelming majority the "Armenian genocide", in an unprecedented vote welcomed by applause in the hemicycle, but assured to anger Ankara.

This is the first time that such a resolution has been submitted to a plenary vote in the United States. Caller to "Commemorate the Armenian genocide", at "Reject attempts (…) to associate the US government with the denial of the Armenian Genocide " and to educate on these facts, this non-binding text was adopted by 405 votes (out of 435), with a rare union of Democrats and Republicans, 11 votes against and 19 abstentions.

The result of the vote was welcomed by applause in the hemicycle. The Armenian Genocide is recognized by thirty countries and the community of historians.

According to estimates, between 1.2 million and 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the First World War by troops of the Ottoman Empire, then allied to Germany and Austria-Hungary.

"A bold step to the truth"

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian has "Hailed the historic vote of the US Congress recognizing the Armenian genocide", considering that this resolution "Is a bold step towards truth and historical justice that also provides comfort to millions of descendants of Armenian genocide survivors".

He also shared his "Admiration for generations of Armenians and Americans of Armenian descent, whose selfless activism and perseverance have been the driving force and inspiration behind today's historic vote". "#No more! ", further tweeted Mr. Pachinian.

For its part, Turkey reacted immediately through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in "Strongly condemning" a "Political act without meaning", whose "Only recipients the Armenian lobby and anti-Turkish groups".

In April 2017, shortly after his arrival at the White House, Donald Trump called the massacre of Armenians in 1915"One of the worst mass atrocities of the XXe century ", while avoiding to use the term 'Genocide'. Ankara then expressed anger, denouncing the "Disinformation" and the "Bad definitions" of the American president.

Before being elected in 2008, his predecessor, Barack Obama, had pledged to recognize genocide – a term he never used as president.

A vote in the middle of a crisis between the United States and Turkey

This vote comes as relations between the United States and Turkey, allies within NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), have just passed through a new area of ​​strong turbulence. President Trump left the field open to a Turkish offensive in Syria against Kurdish fighters, also allied with Washington, by withdrawing US forces from the north of the country in early October.

This decision provoked an uproar within the American political class, even in the Republican camp of the tenant of the White House, whose elected officials threatened to impose sanctions. "Infernal" to Turkey and its leaders. In the face of pressure, the US government itself announced more modest punitive measures before lifting them in favor of a ceasefire negotiated with Ankara.

In the wake of the vote on the Armenian genocide, the House of Representatives also adopted almost unanimously Tuesday a text providing for sanctions against Turkish officials in connection with the offensive in Syria. But it still needs to be approved by the Senate to become effective.

In 1975 and 1984, the House of Representatives had made commemorative resolutions using the term "genocide" and made April 24 a day of commemoration. the Wall Street Journal. And in 1981, President Ronald Reagan used the term genocide. But these marks of recognition have never been transcribed into political acts.

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