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First failure in the U.S. President’s Mandate to Restore Integrity in Politics
As expected, the U.S. President, Barack Obama made a statement about the Armenian Genocide, this Friday 24 April, the commemoration day of the Genocide. Terming the Genocide as “one of the great atrocities of the 20th century,” the U.S. President declared that “The Meds Yeghern [Great Crime in Armenian] must live on in our memories, just as it lives on in the hearts of the Armenian people,” He added: “I consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed.” Before evoking the “joint statement” signed in extremis by Turkey and Armenia and the so-called “reconciliation efforts,” he also reaffirmed his interest in “the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.”
President Obama thus failed to honour his pledge to recognize it as “genocide” – the term that appropriately bears a political, juridical and legal meaning – as he had repeatedly committed to do during his election campaign.
With this step backwards, he failed to meet the expectations of millions of Americans and Europeans who had hoped the U.S. President would embody a political break with the record of its predecessors. In so doing, he also cast doubt on his own word and on the credibility of the United States in the world, and especially in the South Caucasus.
“Millions of people and hundreds of NGOs urged president Obama to term as genocide the Armenian Genocide in order to give evidence of his understanding of democratic societies. By choosing to give in to the threatening pressures of a denialist, racist and militaristic State, and to the murky interests of its allies, he impedes the U.S. capacity to reclaim its traditional leading rank in the world,” stated Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.
The Federation notes that Armenia and Turkey, under the aegis of Switzerland, disclosed late in the night between the 22 and 23 April a “joint statement,” less than 24 hours before the anniversary date of the Armenian Genocide. This statement alleges that the two countries “have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner,” that they “have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process” and that “a road-map has been identified” in this context.
« This interim agreement gives no new sign that could be considered as progress in the negotiations. It gives no evidence that Turkey has stopped placing unacceptable preconditions for the normalisations of relations, nor is there any indication that Armenia is ready to accept Turkey's immoral and politically untenable preconditions” noted Hilda Tchoboian. “On the contrary, just after signing this statement, the Turkish Prime Minister denied again that Turkey intends to withdraw the blockade of Armenia,” added the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.
The Federation considers that the deficient position of President Obama a posteriori proves that the “joint statement” signed by Turkey and Armenia on the eve of April 24 was just an under-handed scheme aimed at misleading the international community and alleging imaginary progress in order to offer an easy way out for the U.S. President.
Four hundred NGOs from European civil society called upon President Obama to honour his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide. “They are very disappointed today,” said Tchoboian. “Those manipulations don’t affect the core issue: the Turkish State remains politically and criminally liable for the Genocide toward the Armenian People” concluded the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.
The Federation stands by the opinion that any “road-map” that bypasses the core issue of the Right to Justice of the Armenian People – victims of the Genocide – will be condemned by the whole European Armenians.

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European Armenian Federation

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