The US Senate has unanimously passed the Armenian Genocide resolution, which was previously blocked three times by Republican Senators at the request of the White House.
The resolution asserts that “it is the policy” of the US to commemorate the genocide “through official recognition and remembrance.”
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez was the first to announce the result of the vote. “Our resolution to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide just passed the United States Senate,” he said, also tagging Republican Senator Ted Cruz in his tweet.
US President Donald Trump can veto the resolution, which is now approved by both houses of the Congress. However, the Congress can override the President’s veto by approving the resolution by a two-thirds vote in each house.
What does the resolution say?
That it is the sense of the Senate that it is the policy of the United States—
(1) to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance;
(2) to reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide; and
(3) to encourage education and public under10 standing of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the role of the United States in humanitarian relief efforts, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.
Senators previously blocked the resolution
Last week, the White House asked Republican Senator Kevin Cramer to block voting on the resolution, according to the Axios news site. Cramer said he does not think it is “the right time” to pass the resolution, according to Axios. That marked the third time a Republican senator blocked the measure at the White House’s request.
Last month, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham objected to passing the resolution after Menendez sought consent to pass it. Republican Senator David Perdue was also asked to block the resolution.
The senator reportedly cited US President Donald Trump’s meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at this month’s NATO summit in London, saying the resolution could harm the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts.
“If the US side really wants to act fairly, it should refrain from taking a political stand on a matter that historians should decide,” said Erdoğan.
On October 29, the anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, the House of Representatives voted 405-11 in favor of the resolution to recognize the genocide.
Countries that recognize the Genocide
Armenia, Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Cyprus, Libya, Lithuania, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Syria, Chile, Vatican, Venezuela, Greece.
Turkish Foreign Minister: Resolution is not binding
Turkey’s Foreign Minister slammed a US resolution Thursday recognizing Armenian claims of 1915 events, saying it is a political show.
“Senate Resolution is nothing more than a political show. It is not legally binding and it has no validity whatsoever,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter.
Çavuşoğlu said those who use history for political purposes are cowards who do not want to face the truth.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement condemning the US move, saying the US resolution was one of the “shameful examples of how history can be politicized.”
The ministry said the move was a destructive attempt aimed at damaging efforts on the development of relations between Ankara and Washington.