Joe Biden has formally recognized the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces as an act of genocide, becoming the first US president to do so since Ronald Reagan and inflaming already strained relations with a strategic ally.
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian Genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday, commemorating Armenian Remembrance Day.
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Turkey rebuffed the statement immediately, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying the Armenian issue has been “politicized by third parties.” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara “entirely rejects” Biden’s decision and added that the move would “open a deep wound that undermines our mutual trust and friendship” with the US.
“After more than 100 years of this past suffering, instead of exerting sincere efforts to completely heal the wounds of the past and build the future together in our region, the US president’s statement will not yield any results other than polarizing the nations and hindering peace and stability in our region,” Cavusoglu said.
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