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President Biden commemorated the 107th anniversary of the start of the “Armenian genocide” on Sunday, issuing a statement in memory of the 1.5 million Armenians “who were deported, massacred or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination “.
The statement did not refer to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Biden called a genocide. Still, Biden used the anniversary to establish a set of foreign policy principles as the United States and its allies arm Ukrainians and impose sanctions on Russia.
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“We renew our commitment to remain vigilant against the corrosive influence of hatred in all its forms,” the president said. “We recommit to exposing and ending the atrocities that leave lasting scars around the world.”
In 1915, Ottoman officials arrested Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, now Istanbul. Biden’s statement notes that this April 24 event marked the start of the genocide.
Keeping a campaign promise, Biden first used the term “genocide” on last year’s anniversary. Past White Houses had avoided the word for decades for fear that Turkey – a member of NATO – would be offended.
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Turkish officials were angered by Biden’s statement a year ago, with the Foreign Ministry issuing a statement that read, “We reject and denounce in the strongest terms the statement of the President of the United States regarding the events of 1915 made under the pressure of the Armenian radicals. anti-Turkey circles and groups.”
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