Date: April 23, 2015

Contact: Taniel Koushakjian
Telephone: (202) 393-3434
Email: [email protected]


WASHINGTON, DC - President Obama today issued a statement which failed to
characterize the systemic massacres and ethnic cleansing committed against
Armenians 100 years ago as genocide, despite his personally stated view
that Armenians suffered a genocide. Instead, he again used the Armenian
language term Meds Yeghern for the Armenian Genocide. While the Assembly
recognizes that President Obama this year has gone farther than any
President since Ronald Reagan in 1981, who acknowledged the genocide of the
Armenians, he again stopped short of fulfilling his promise and reaffirming
the US record.

President Obama used a dictionary definition of the Armenian Genocide
noting `the Armenian people of the Ottoman empire were deported, massacred,
and marched to their deaths... one and a half million Armenians perished.' He
also referenced Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide and cited what
happened to the Armenians and what happened to the Jews as prototypes of
genocide, as well as the courageous leadership of U.S. Ambassador Henry
Morgenthau who alerted the world that a `campaign of race extermination'
was under way and America's response and humanitarian intervention. The
absence of leadership on something as simple as condemning genocide is
becoming too familiar to the American people.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian
Genocide, Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of
America, issued the following statement:

`President Obama's exercise in linguistic gymnastics on the Armenian
Genocide is unbecoming of the standard he himself set and that of a world
leader today. One hundred years ago, a crime without a name took place. The
definition of that shameful act can be found in the statement just released
by the White House. When America stands apart from the European Parliament,
Pope Francis, Germany, Austria, and the International Association of
Genocide Scholars, we should pause and think about where we are as a
nation. The world should know that while our President bowed to Turkish
denial, Armenian Americans and other people of good conscience will never
allow our history to be swept under the rug. In that spirit, the Assembly
is recommitted to educating our neighbors, friends, and our communities
through the launch of the Armenian Genocide Museum of America. This
state-of-the-art online museum ( is
dedicated to educating the public about the continuing consequences of the
Armenian Genocide and its denial. The interactive site invites visitors to
explore the story of the Armenian people and its fateful experience in
1915, and it will serve on the frontlines against genocide denial. Genocide
prevention is our obligation and we look forward to the day when the
President joins us.'

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and
awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt membership organization.


NR: # 2015-029

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