WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) – speaking today from the dais of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee – directly called upon Secretary of State John Kerry, and by extension the entire Obama-Biden Administration, to stop enforcing Turkey’s gag-rule against an honest American recognition of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“As Senator Kerry, you championed recognition of the Armenian Genocide. We are now at the 100th anniversary and I would hope that you would show the courage, that you are personally known for, and on April 24th use the word genocide to describe what happened in Anatolia 100 years ago,” urged Rep. Sherman, as part of a series of questions to Secretary Kerry during today’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, titled, “Advancing U.S. Interests in a Troubled World: The FY 2016 Foreign Affairs Budget.”
Secretary Kerry’s response to this question and others submitted by Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) and several Committee members on a broad range of Armenian American concerns are anticipated in the upcoming weeks.
Rep. Cicilline, a leading voice for Armenian Genocide justice on the Committee, explained, “Today, at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I directed questions to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding our bilateral relationship with Armenia and the Armenian Genocide. As we prepare to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it is especially important to raise awareness of these atrocities and work to ensure that the world never again experiences a similar tragedy. I will continue to closely monitor these issues and I look forward to continuing to work with advocates both in my district and across the country, especially the Armenian National Committee of America.”
ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian expressed appreciation to Rep. Sherman, Rep. Cicilline and all Committee members submitting inquiries. “With Representative Sherman today – as he spoke his powerful words – were the spirits of those killed in this still unpunished crime, and the hopes of all those working for the day when America’s response to genocide is not determined by a geopolitical calculation, but rather driven by a moral imperative,” said Hamparian.
Secretary Kerry has participated in a marathon set of Senate and House hearings this week focusing on President Obama’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 foreign aid budget.