WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and the Armenian Assembly expressed strong concerns regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks on the Armenian Genocide at a town hall meeting last week, reported the Armenian Assembly of America.
In a letter circulated this week, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Robert Dold (R-IL), sponsors of the Armenian Genocide resolution, urged members to join them in sending a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on the Secretary to “disavow her ill-considered statement.” The letter also urges the Obama Administration to unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide this April 24th and firmly recognize “genocide wherever and whenever it occurs.”
Speaking at a town hall meeting last week at the State Department, Clinton, in response to a question about the Armenian Genocide and the recent developments in France surrounding the adoption of new legislation criminalizing its denial, stated: “I think it’s fair to say that this has always been viewed, and I think properly so, as a matter of historical debate and conclusions rather than political. And I think that is the right posture for the United States government to be in, because whatever the terrible event might be or the high emotions that it represents, to try to use government power to resolve historical issues, I think, opens a door that is a very dangerous one to go through.”
Expressing surprise and dismay, the Assembly sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting swift action. “Secretary Clinton’s response is untenable and requires immediate remedy. Mr. President now is the time to fulfill your campaign promise and unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide,” the Assembly wrote in its letter.
“There is no debate about the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide,” Schiff and Dold told the Assembly. “Raphael Lemkin, a Holocaust survivor who coined the term genocide and worked tirelessly toward the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, invoked the Armenian experience as a prime example of genocide,” continued Schiff and Dold.
“We welcome this bi-partisan initiative to set the record straight,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “We urge human rights activists from across the country to make sure that their Member of Congress signs this important letter to Secretary Clinton,” added Ardouny.