President Biden becomes first president to officially recognize the massacre of Armenians in World War I as a genocide

Carter Mudgett, Student Government Reporter

On April 24, President Joe Biden became the first American President to officially recognize the massacre of Armenians in World War I as a genocide. 

Screenshot of Biden’s statement from The White House.

His statement was delivered on the 106th anniversary of the beginning of the massacre. The full statement is depicted above. 

“Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future — toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security,” said Biden. “Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.”

Former American presidents had strayed from using the term “genocide” as to not risk damaging relationships with their ally, Turkey. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a tweet that Ankara, the capital of Turkey, completely rejects President Biden’s use of the term.

Screenshot of Cavusoglu’s tweet in response to Biden’s statement.

The official number of Armenians killed during this time remains up for debate. Between 1914 and 1923, estimates range from 300,000 and 2 million deaths. Ottoman authorities estimated that about 800,000 Armenians were killed between 1915 and 1918. However, the majority of estimates range from 600,000 to  1.5 million. 

Previously during his candidacy, Biden said that if elected: “I pledge to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and will make universal human rights a top priority for my administration.”

The move officially fulfills his original campaign promise and solidifies a commitment to global human rights.


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