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Monday, January 30, 2023

White House Press Secretary to WSJ: “Biden Will Recognize Armenian Genocide” – Further Deterioration Expected in US-Turkish Relations

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US President Joe Biden may within days formally acknowledge the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, according to sources informed of his intentions, a development that is expected to further worsen US relations with Turkey.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday that the US presidency would have “more to say” on the issue this Saturday. She avoided going into details.

According to Reuters, Joe Biden is expected to use the word “genocide” in a statement on April 24, when events around the world are held every year in memory of the victims, but as said, no final decision has been made yet.

A year ago, when he was still running for the presidency of the United States, Mr. Biden had commemorated the 1.5 million victims, men, women and children who were slaughtered during the years when the Ottoman Empire was coming to the end, and had promised that if elected he would officially recognize the Armenian genocide.

Turkey acknowledges that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces at the time, but disputes historians’ estimates of the number of victims, claiming that it was not a systematic, orchestrated extermination of its population which would constitute genocide.

The possible recognition of the Armenian genocide was reported earlier on Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, citing Biden government officials.

The day before yesterday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu warned that the official recognition of the genocide by the United States would damage the already tense relations between the two countries, allies in NATO.

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