Friday, October 23, 2020

Senate Democrats urge Library of Congress to acknowledge Armenian genocide

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Oct 15, 2020 Senate Democrats wrote a letter to the Library of Congress on Wednesday demanding the nationwide establishment confer with the 20th century killings of Armenians in Turkey as a “genocide.” The move comes at a time of friction between some members of Congress and the Trump administration on Turkey, and as Turkey has backed Azerbaijani forces in opposition to Armenian ones within the breakaway area of Nagorno-Karabakh. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who’s the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, signed the letter together with fellow Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The time period Armenian genocide is commonly used to refer to the killings and compelled displacement of Armenians from 1915-23 by Turks; Greeks and Assyrians have been additionally killed. The Turkish authorities admits there have been deaths, however adamantly disputes the occasions constituted a genocide. The Library of Congress at the moment refers back to the interval because the “Armenian massacre” in its database. The senators wrote the letter in help of current efforts by the University of California, Los Angeles and the Armenian National Committee of America to alter this phrasing. The Library of Congress’ place is in step with that of the chief department, which doesn’t acknowledge the occasions as a genocide. The senators stated the library ought to accomplish that, nevertheless, as a result of Congress does acknowledge the Armenian genocide. “There is no statutory or constitutional basis for the Library of Congress to choose the State Department as the U.S. foreign policy authority on this topic over the U.S. Congress,” wrote the senators. “The scholarly consensus is clear that ‘Armenian Genocide,’ not ‘Armenian massacres,’ is the most accurate description of this tragedy,” they added. In December, the Senate voted to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, following the House of Representatives vote to do the identical in October  2019. The administration of US President Donald Trump didn’t comply with go well with. The United States has averted recognizing the genocide for years in order to not hurt relations with Turkey, which is a vital NATO ally. A Democratic Senate aide informed Al-Monitor that the letter was additionally despatched due to the Trump administration’s refusal to acknowledge the genocide. US-Turkey relations improved in October 2019 when Trump repositioned US troops in northeast Syria, which allowed Turkey to assault Kurdish forces there. Many Democrats criticized the move. Some members of Congress proceed to criticize Turkish coverage. In August, Menendez and Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland wrote to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to demand he place sanctions on Turkey over its drilling and naval exercise within the japanese Mediterranean. Greece, Cyprus and the European Union imagine the areas in query are Greek and Cypriot territory. There are Republicans in Congress crucial of Turkey as properly. In a September Senate listening to with State Department officers, Republican Sen. Todd Young of Indiana took a shot at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Clearly, Turkey has rapidly radicalized under Erdogan’s regime,” stated Young. Turkey has not responded to the Senate letter to the Library of Congress. When the Senate voted to acknowledge the Armenian genocide final 12 months, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu dismissed it as a “political show.” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has additionally criticized Turkey on the marketing campaign path just lately. This week, the previous vp referred to as Turkish help for Azerbaijan within the battle with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh area “irresponsible.” The Senate letter doesn’t point out the Nagorno-Karabakh battle.

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