US President Joe Biden wants to officially recognize the “genocide” of the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Turks during World War I hundreds of years ago. The news agency Reuters reported.
According to Bloomberg, Joe Biden raised the issue in a recent phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This is the first time the two leaders have spoken since Biden was sworn in as president last January.
White House spokeswoman Jelena Porter told reporters on Friday that Biden could make an announcement in a day or two. “The announcement of the Armenian genocide may come tomorrow,” he said.
From 1915 to 1918, about 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives in the Ottoman Empire. Biden was the first U.S. president to speak out against the recognition of “genocide.”
Turkey has claimed responsibility for World War I, but is reluctant to call it a “genocide.”
On April 24, 1915, hundreds of Armenian leaders and intellectuals were arrested in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) on suspicion of being enemies of the Ottoman government. Most of them were later killed and exiled. Armenians have been observing April 24 as the day of genocide. For a long time, they have been pushing for international recognition of the killings as genocide.