US House passes historic resolution recognising Armenian genocide

US Capitol building (PHOTO: Patrick Robertson/CBN News).

Originally published in CBN News

The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recognise the systematic mass killings of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I as genocide.

The historic non-binding resolution passed 405-11 and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was honoured to join her colleagues “in solemn remembrance of one of the great atrocities of the 20th century”.

Most historians agree that the Ottoman Empire committed a brutal genocide against the Armenians from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the death of 1.5 million men, women, and children.

The historic non-binding resolution is a resounding rebuke to Turkey, which denies the genocide ever happened.

On Wednesday, Ankara summoned ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield over the vote.

Turkey quickly rejected the measure as a “meaningless political step” and said it risks hurting Ankara’s relationship with Washington “at an extremely fragile time” for international and regional security.

Congress came close to passing similar resolutions in the past but backed out after facing pressure from Turkey. Tuesday’s vote is the first time the US Congress has passed a measure directly blaming Turkey for the genocide against Armenians.

Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian told the Wall Street Journal that the resolution puts America on the right side of history.

“This vote places America on the side of justice, which has, for far too long, been denied to the victims and surviving generations of the Armenian genocide,” Hamparian said.

The House also passed a bipartisan bill Tuesday to sanction senior Turkish officials and Turkish forces for the country’s invasion into northeastern Syria. That bill passed 403-16.

Both bills are a symbol of America’s deteriorating relations with Turkey.

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