US Senate recognizes the Armenian genocide at hands of the Ottoman Empire

US Senate recognizes the Armenian genocide at hands of the Ottoman Empire

BREAKING: The US Senate has passed the Armenian Genocide Bill recognizing mass atrocity at hands of the Ottoman Empire as genocide, a move strongly opposed by Turkey, which for decades had deployed an army of lobbyists to stop the measure. 

The genocide measure officially recognizes the systematic killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923.

On the eve of World War I, there were two million Armenians in the declining Ottoman Empire. By 1922, there were fewer than 400,000. The others — some 1.5 million — were systematically murdered at hands of the Ottoman Empire.

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The resolution resolves that it is the policy of the US to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance, reject efforts to associate the US with denial of the Armenian genocide and encourage education of the facts of the genocide.

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“We have just passed the Armenian genocide resolution … and it is fitting and appropriate that the Senate stands on the right side of history in doing so. It commemorates the truth of the Armenian genocide,” Sen. Bob Menendez said from the Senate floor.

Menendez broke down in tears afterward, when he began recounting the horrors of the genocide.

Congress’s passage of the resolution comes as relations between the U.S. and Turkey have been tested in recent months over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian weapons system and its incursion into Syria.

It comes a day after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed Turkey sanctions legislation, underscoring the rocky relationship between Capitol Hill and Ankara.