By Ruzanna Stepanian
The ongoing rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey is not reducing the likelihood of official U.S. recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide, a senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) said on Tuesday.
U.S. President Barack Obama is under growing pressure from the Armenian-American community to characterize the World War One-era mass killings and deportations of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as genocide. Obama pledged do that once in office during the U.S. presidential race.
There have been suggestions that the new U.S. administration will tread more carefully on the matter now that Ankara and Yerevan seem close to normalizing bilateral relations. Turkish leaders have already warned Washington that genocide recognition would scuttle the Turkish-Armenian dialogue.
“Opening the border and establishing diplomatic relations alone would not prevent the genocide’s recognition because Armenia is not committing itself to renouncing the process of genocide recognition,” Giro Manoyan, Dashnaktsutyun’s chief foreign policy spokesman, told journalists. He said Obama could refrain from using the word genocide for other reasons such as the security situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Other calculations may lead the U.S. government to say that let’s solve this issue not this year but next year,” said Manoyan. “[Obama] did not pledge to do that on next April 24. He pledged to do that during his presidency.”