In an annual statement on Armenian Remembrance Day released by the White House on April 24, Biden paid tribute to the memory of the Armenian genocide victims.
“Today, we pause to remember the lives lost during the Meds Yeghern—the Armenian genocide— and renew our pledge to never forget.
“On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities arrested Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople—the start of a systematic campaign of violence against the Armenian community. In the years that followed, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths—a tragedy that forever affected generations of Armenian families,” Biden said.
The U.S. president Biden also paid tribute to Armenian survivors of the genocide and their descendants.
“As we join nations around the world in remembering this painful history, we also reflect on the resilience and resolve of the Armenian people. So many of those who survived were forced to begin new lives in new lands—including the United States. Here and around the world, the Armenian people have met the evil of hate with hope. They rebuilt their communities. They nurtured their families and preserved their culture. They strengthened our nation. They also told their stories—and those of their ancestors—to remember and to ensure that genocide like the one that happened 108 years ago is never again repeated.
“Today, let us renew this pledge. Let us recommit to speaking out against hate, standing up for human rights, and preventing atrocities. And together, let us redouble our efforts to forge a better future—one where all people can live with dignity, security, and respect,” he said.
Biden issued similar April 24 statements in 2021 and 2022, breaking with his predecessors’ policy of not using the word “genocide” for fear of antagonizing Turkey. His decision to reaffirm the genocide recognition has prompted strong criticism from Ankara.
About three dozen nations, including France, Russia, Germany and others, have recognized the Ottoman-era killings of Armenians as the first genocide of the 20th century.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate unanimously passed genocide resolutions in 2019 after decades of lobbying by Armenian-American advocacy groups.
Ankara continues to deny a premeditated government effort to exterminate Ottoman Turkey’s ethnic Armenian population.
The vehement Turkish denials of the genocide are dismissed by most scholars outside Turkey.