WASHINGTON – Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced a Senate resolution to ensure the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning the Armenian Genocide. Carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, the Armenian Genocide resulted in the forced deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians, of whom 1.5 million were killed.
“As we near the anniversary of Armenian Remembrance Day, one of the darkest events in human history, I am proud to lead this effort to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide on behalf of the U.S. Congress. The Armenian genocide is a historical fact and not up for debate,” said Senator Menendez. “Only by accurately recognizing this genocide of the past can we ever hope to move forward in a legitimate and effective manner to meet the challenge of preventing mass atrocities and genocide in the future. With this resolution, we honor the millions of victims of this genocide, remember how they died and pledge that history accurately remember their deaths.”
“We must never be silent in response to atrocities. Over one hundred years ago, the world was silent as the Armenian people suffered a horrific genocide, and today many are still unaware of it,” said Senator Cruz. “I am proud to join Sen. Menendez and my colleagues today in introducing this resolution. May the terrors of those events awaken in us the courage to always stand for freedom against evil.”
Joining Menendez and Cruz in introducing the Resolution were Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
“We want to thank Senators Menendez and Cruz for taking aim directly at U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). “Their bipartisan resolution would end – once and for all – a foreign gag-order that has, for nearly a century, compromised our nation’s independence and government’s credibility on issues of human rights, religious freedom, and atrocities prevention.”
A Congressional champion for U.S.-Armenian relations, Menendez today met with His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, ANCA National Chair Raffi Hamparian, and other U.S.-Armenian community leaders to discuss issues facing the community, the importance of this resolution as well as the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.
A copy of the resolution can be found here.