WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today went on record, once again, asking President Obama to honor his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The one-page letter, signed by ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian and sent in the days leading up to President Obama’s second April 24th in office, asks, simply, that President Obama keep his commitment and “stand for a policy that is truthful, just, and worthy of the American people.”
Hachikian also addressed two points of special concern that have further compounded the anger and outrage felt by Armenian American voters over the President’s broken promise; his pressure on Armenia to accept the one-sided, pro-Ankara Protocols; his support for Turkey’s “historical commission” denial tactic; and his attacks on the Armenian Genocide Resolution. The first dealt with the unfortunate and inappropriate practice by the current and previous presidents to use April 24th, a day of solemn remembrance, as a platform to offer policy statements about Armenia, Turkey, and the surrounding region. The second concerned the fact that the President, despite devoting considerable attention to Armenian issues, has yet to agree, consistent with his campaign promise, to meet with the broad-based leadership of the Armenian American community.
The full text of the ANCA’s April 7, 2010 letter is provided below. A copy of the actual letter can be viewed on the ANCA website.
The full text of the March 8, 2010 ANCA letter to President Obama regarding his opposition to the Armenian Genocide Resolution is also available here.
The complete ANCA “Obama File” of Senate and campaign statements on the Armenian Genocide is available here.
April 7, 2010
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing on the eve of the April 24, 2010 commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, to once again urge you to honor your promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
We have, as you know, written on several occasions to share with you our profound disappointment regarding your Administration’s failures to meet your own moral standard on this issue. In restating our request, we will neither quote, as we have in the past, from your many campaign pledges, nor review again each of the many specific concerns that we have raised with you regarding the Armenian Genocide, Congressional efforts to properly recognize this atrocity, and Turkey’s cynical use of the Protocols to maintain U.S. complicity in Ankara’s denial of this crime.
As citizens, we simply call upon you, as our President, to honor your own commitments. We ask only that you keep faith with your own understanding of the Armenian Genocide and the modern-day consequences of this still unresolved crime against humanity. We expect simply that you stand for a policy that is truthful, just, and worthy of the American people.
I would also respectfully ask you to consider, as you prepare your remarks, that April 24th represents a profoundly solemn remembrance for our community and for all who care about the painful legacy of this horrific crime. We look to the White House to mark this day sincerely and not, as has too often been the case, to view it as an opportunity to present a policy statement on the region. An explanation of U.S. priorities regarding Armenia-Turkey relations or other current foreign policy issues, while certainly entirely appropriate in other settings, clearly does not belong in a Presidential April 24th statement, just as a statement of U.S. policy on the Israel-Arab peace process would not be appropriate in Presidential remarks devoted to remembering the Holocaust.
In closing, I would like, once again, to encourage you to take a first step toward honoring your pledge to remain actively engaged with Armenian American leaders by hosting a meeting, at your first opportunity, with our broad-based community leadership.
Kenneth V. Hachikian