Bill Clinton

April 19, 1999

The White House
April 19, 1999
Office of the Press Secretary


This week marks the commemoration of one of the saddest chapters of this century: the deportations and massacres of one and a half million Armenians in the closing years of the Ottoman empire. We join with Armenian-Americans across the nation and with the Armenian community abroad to mourn the loss of so many innocent lives. Today, against the background of events in Kosovo, all Americans should recommit themselves to building a world where such events never occur again.

As we learn from the past, we also build for the future. In this country, Armenian-Americans have made great contributions to every field, from science, to commerce, to culture. Meanwhile, the people of Armenia, who suffered not only from the massacres, but the ravages of two world wars and the pain of seventy years of Soviet rule, at last have obtained their independence and their freedom. Armenia is pursuing democratic and market reforms, assuming its rightful place among the members of the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. We wish the people of Armenia - and all of their neighbors in the Caucasus region - success in their efforts to bring about the lasting peace and prosperity that they deserve. America will continue to support these efforts.

ON behalf of the American people, I extend my best wishes to all Armenians at this time of remembrance.