World leaders, politicians commemorate 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Politicians and leaders around the world on Saturday issued statements commemorating the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The statements arrive as Turkey braces for U.S. President Joe recognising the 1915 massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide, in move that could further complicate an already tense relation ship between Ankara and Washington.

Armenians are seeking international recognition for atrocities during World War I that they say left some 1.5 million of their people dead.

An overwhelming majority of non-Turkish historians agree that April 24, 1915 was the beginning of a systematic mass murder and expulsion of civilian Armenians by the Ottoman Empire government, which meets the definition of genocide, a claim Ankara rejects.

Member of the European Parliament Manfred Weber (EPP Group) on Saturday called on Turkey to face history and fully recognize the reality of the Genocide.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, also known as Medz Yeghern.

“Today on Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, we join Armenian communities in Canada and around the world to remember those who lost their lives and who suffered from the senseless acts wrought upon the Armenian people. We also honor their descendants and all those who continue to live with the pain, trauma, and loss from this tragedy,” Trudeau said.

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a statement on Twitter marking the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

“On April 24, the Armenian Genocide commemoration day, we do not forget. We will fight together against denial, hatred, violence. The French people and the Armenian people are forever linked,” Macron said.

 

Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou laid a wreath on Saturday at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens to commemorate the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

“One hundred and six years have passed since the beginning of the systematic extermination of one and a half million Armenians during the last years of the Ottoman Empire. It is a tragedy that indelibly sealed the first decades of the 20th century, a genocide that crushed a thriving Christian nucleus in the southern Caucasus and almost wiped out an ancient people,” Sakellaropoulou said.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said his country allies

with Turkey to “dispel the myth of the ‘Armenian genocide’ in the world”.

Turkey and Azerbaijan are bound by strong ethnic, cultural and historic ties. Turkey threw its full support behind the country in the six-weeks of clashes with Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in November. Turkish drones played a key role in Azerbaijan’s military success in the conflict.

Turkey denies the accusations of genocide, saying hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Turks died in clashes after ethnic Armenians in Turkey sided with Russia in the war. It says any killing was not systematic or orchestrated and has strongly objected to all attempts at recognition internationally.