Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   24 October

U.S. Department of State reacts to adoption of resolution on Armenian Genocide by Senate Committee

YEREVAN, APRIL 11, ARMENPRESS. The U.S. Department of State reacted to the adoption of resolution, condemning the Armenian Genocide, by Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 10. In this respect, while answering to the question put forward by a journalist, the U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki stated: “Our position has long been that we acknowledge – clearly acknowledge as historical fact and mourn the loss of 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. These horrific events resulted in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, and the United States recognizes that they remain a great source of pain for the people of Armenia and of Armenian descent, as they do for all of us who share basic universal values.”

Previously it was reported that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved S. Res. 410, affirming the U.S. Record on the Armenian Genocide. In addition to the Armenian Genocide resolution, a bill commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide was also adopted.

As reports “Armenpress”, the resolution in particular runs as follows: “Whereas the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed and 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland; (1) to remember and observe the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2014; (2) that the President should work toward an equitable, constructive, stable, and durable Armenian-Turkish relationship that includes the full acknowledgment by the Government of the Republic of Turkey of the facts about the Armenian Genocide; and (3) that the President should ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide.”

S. Res. 410, the Armenian Genocide resolution, was introduced by Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a long-time champion of Armenian issues and powerful voice for justice, along with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who previously served as Co-Chair of the Armenian Caucus during his tenure in the House of Representatives. In addition to Menendez and Kirk, the resolution was cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Richard Durbin (D-IL).

"We applaud the leadership of Chairman Menendez," stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny who was on hand when the resolution was adopted. "Today's vote reaffirms America's commitment to genocide awareness and prevention," added Ardouny. "As Chairman Menendez said, the Armenian Genocide is a fact and one cannot simply pick and choose their genocides."

The Armenian Genocide resolution was adopted by a vote of 12-5. Senators voting in favor were Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Edward Markey (D-MA). Senators voting against were Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN), James Risch (R-ID), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and John Barrasso (R-WY). Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) was not present.

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