President Joe Biden becomes the first US president to officially recognize the Armenian genocide, joining a group of 29 other countries.
Rabat – In a historic move, US President Joe Biden becomes the first US president to officially recognize the genocide of Armenians after World War I.
Between 1915-17, the Ottoman Empire killed over 1.5 million Armenians.
However, many governments of the world, including Turkey, deny the existence of the genocide. Turkey considers the millions of deaths as “casualties of war.”
April 24 is the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
During a White House press brief the president said, “The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today.”
Turkey’s foreign ministry responded swiftly, criticizing the announcement and calling it a purely political move.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted, “We have nothing to learn from anybody on our own past. Political opportunism is the greatest betrayal to peace and justice.”
Under the Trump Administration, Turkey enjoyed a “hands-off” style of US foreign policy. President Biden promised to recognize the Armenian genocide while campaigning and has fulfilled that promise.
In 2007, Turkey recalled its ambassador to the US after a congressional committee recognized the Aremenian genocide. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted similarly in 2016 when Germany decide to recognize the Armenian genocide.
Although the decision is a sign of goodwill to Armenia, experts speculate tensions will continue to grow between the US and Turkey.
While on the campaign trail, President Biden announced a global summit for “Democracy to renew the spirit and shared purpose of the nations of the free world.” Experts expect that summit organizers will not invite Turkey, as it is considered a backsliding democracy.
In March 2021, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Anthony Blinken met in Brussels to discuss US-Turkish relations. Both parties sought to find common ground while also underlining points of disagreement such as the US position on Afghanistan and Turkey’s unstable relationship with the EU.