In what for many is a surprising move, US President Joe Biden issued a statement on Friday officially recognizing the Ottoman Empire's genocide of Armenian people, which started during WWI.
During the period of 1915-1923, the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire fell from over 2 millions to under 400 thousand, mostly either due to death or forced deportation, according to many historians.
According to CNN, Biden stated:
"I pledge to support a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide, and will make universal human rights a top priority for my administration."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commented, "Our hearts are full of joy that President Biden has taken the historic step of joining Congress with formal recognition on Armenian Genocide Day.
"To commemorate this solemn day of remembrance, let us pledge to always stand strong against hatred and violence wherever we see it and recommit to building a future of hope, peace and freedom for all the world's children."
"We are not going to take lessons about our history from anyone. Political opportunism is the biggest betrayal of peace and justice. We completely reject this statement that is only based on populism," said Mevlut Cavusoglu, the foreign minister of Turkey.
Biden in the year 2020 publicly stated his low opinion of the Turkish administration, saying the following in an interview:
"I've spent a lot of time with him. He is an autocrat. He's the President of Turkey and a lot more. What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership."
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