US lawmakers submit Armenian resolution

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) – A bipartisan group of senators introduced a resolution Wednesday to recognize the 1915 events as "genocide".

"The Armenian genocide is a historical fact and not up for debate," said Senator Robert Menendez, who along with Senator Ted Cruz introduced the resolution. "With this resolution, we honor the millions of victims of this genocide, remember how they died and pledge that history accurately remember their deaths."

Turkey's position is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Ankara does not accept the alleged genocide but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events of World War I.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

It is unclear when the resolution will be taken up, but a previous effort in 2014 stalled out with the resolution never hitting the full Senate floor after clearing committee.

In addition to Cruz and Menendez, this year's resolution has the support of 14 more senators in the 100-member chamber.

Successive U.S. presidents have refrained from calling the deaths of Armenians "genocide," but former President Barack Obama adopted the use of the Armenian phrase "Meds Yeghern", or "Great Crime", to describe the tragedy, a practice repeated by President Donald Trump.