Barack Obama


November 20, 2009

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Regarding the past, I deeply appreciate your views on what is one of the great atrocities of the 20th century. As I said in my Remembrance Day message, my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgement of the facts. I believe that the best way to advance that goal is for the Armenian and Turkish people to address the facts of the past as part of their efforts to move forward. We will continue to vigorously support the normalization effort in the months ahead.


*January 19, 2008, Barack Obama on the Importance of US-Armenia Relations [Obama '08 Campaign Statement]:

I also share with Armenian Americans -- so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors - a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history. As a U.S. Senator, I have stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey's acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. Two years ago, I criticized the Secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term "genocide" to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with Secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Genocide, sadly, persists to this day, and threatens our common security and common humanity. Tragically, we are witnessing in Sudan many of the same brutal tactics - displacement, starvation, and mass slaughter - that were used by the Ottoman authorities against defenseless Armenians back in 1915. I have visited Darfurian refugee camps, pushed for the deployment of a robust multinational force for Darfur, and urged divestment from companies doing business in Sudan. America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.

**October 31, 2008, Barack Obama: Supporting US-Armenia Relations [Obama '08 Campaign Statement]:

The Armenian Genocide, carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulted in the deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians, and approximately 1.5 million of those deported were killed. Barack Obama believes we must recognize this tragic reality and strongly supports a U.S.-Armenian relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy.

Recognition of the Armenian Genocide: Barack Obama shares with Armenian Americans a principled commitment to ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history. As a senator, Obama has stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey's acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. He criticized the Secretary of State two years ago for the firing of the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he used the term "genocide" to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. Obama wrote that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.

Barack Obama strongly supports passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106) and will recognize the Armenian Genocide.