At the end of last week, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, and 36 other senators in sending to President Joe Biden, urging his administration to officially recognize the Ottoman Empire‘s genocide against the Armenian people.
To date, no president has made it U.S. policy to affirm the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide, which lasted from 1915 to 1923 and resulted in the forced deportation of around 2 million Armenians, 1.5 million of whom were killed.
“We join the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in honoring the memory of these victims, and we stand firmly against attempts to pretend that this intentional, organized effort to destroy the Armenian people was anything other than a genocide,” the senators wrote in a letter to President Biden. “You have correctly stated that American diplomacy and foreign policy must be rooted in our values, including respect for universal rights. Those values require us to acknowledge the truth and do what we can to prevent future genocides and other crimes against humanity.”
Beyond recognizing the facts of the Ottoman Empire’s systematic extermination of Armenians, the senators stressed that the move would rectify the executive branch’s position regarding the genocide by aligning it with congressional consensus as well as Biden’s previous remarks.
“Administrations of both parties have been silent on the truth of the Armenian Genocide. We urge you to break this pattern of complicity by officially recognizing that the Armenian Genocide was a genocide,” added the senators.