February 29, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued the following statement following Secretary Clinton’s response to a question by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) regarding her recent statements misrepresenting the Armenian Genocide as a ‘historical debate.’

“The Armenian Genocide is a crime against all humanity, requiring international justice, not a bilateral conflict between nations needing mediation,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “According to her morally and factually flawed logic, America and the international community should have remained silent in the face of the Holocaust and other genocides, in Rwanda and elsewhere, leaving it to the perpetrators and victims of these crimes to come to a common understanding of their past. It’s truly a sad spectacle to see Secretary Clinton pressured by Turkey to dance around the truth and play word games with genocide.”

In his question, Rep. Schiff referenced the U.S. record of affirming the Armenian Genocide, citing a document submitted to the International Court of Justice in 1951 clearly referencing the Armenian Genocide, President Ronald Reagan’s affirmation of the Armenian Genocide in 1981 and Secretary Clinton’s own statements as Senator properly characterizing those crimes. In her response, Secretary Clinton avoided proper reference to the genocide, instead arguing that the “terrible events” should be a matter of discussion between Turkey and Armenia alone.

Both Representatives Jesse Jackson (D-IL) and Steve Rothman (D-NJ) associated themselves with Rep. Schiff’s statement and inquiry during the hearing.

Earlier this week, over 60 Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Clinton, asking her to renounce her recent public mischaracterization of the Armenian Genocide. In that letter, Members stated that the “historically inaccurate description of the Armenian Genocide as an open question, in addition to the offense it represents to Armenian Americans and other victims of genocide, provides American encouragement to the Republic of Turkey in its shameful campaign of denial.”

A copy of that letter is available here:

House Foreign Affairs Committee members will have the opportunity to ask Secretary Clinton questions about policy and foreign aid matters when she testifies at 1:30pm EST today.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *