U.S. congressman urges Trump to commemorate Armenian genocide

Ed Royce, the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, has issued the text of the statement on the Armenian genocide he will deliver at a commemoration event this evening.

“Truth does not stand in the company of caveats, euphemisms or qualifications. It stands fearlessly and unapologetically on its own – and so should the U.S. record on the Armenian genocide,” the statement said.

“That is why I have repeatedly called on various U.S. administrations to call the horrific violence of 1915 by its true name, and officially recognise it as the Armenian genocide. Just this week I have joined with several of my House colleagues on a letter to President Trump, urging him again to refer to the genocide in his April 24th commemoration remarks.”

Turkey officially denies that the measures taken by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian population during the First World War constituted genocide.

"Our attitude on the Armenian issue has been clear from the beginning. We will never accept the accusations of genocide,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in 2016.

In his statement, Royce, who was involved in the drafting of a successful bill defining Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities as genocide, linked denials of past genocides to the Islamist group’s ongoing crimes.

“Genocide deniers in Turkey, the Middle East, Europe and even here at home are gaining traction in their attempts to whitewash history and convert the genocide into mere ‘consequences of war’,” he said.

“Genocide perpetrators continue to believe that there is a chance for impunity in the conduct of their crimes against humanity, as we have seen in the former Yugoslavia, in Rwanda and even today in ISIS-held territory in Syria and Iraq.”