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12 Dec, 2019 18:48

US Senate passes resolution recognizing Armenian genocide, ignoring Trump & Turkey’s objections

US Senate passes resolution recognizing Armenian genocide, ignoring Trump & Turkey’s objections

The US Senate has unanimously passed a resolution recognizing the Ottoman Empire-era massacre of Armenians as genocide. The move is likely to further strain US ties with Ankara, which has opposed such a designation for decades.

The landmark resolution was passed by the Senate on Thursday. It was the fourth attempt to adopt it, as the previous efforts were blocked by three GOP senators.

“We have just passed the Armenian genocide resolution...and it is fitting and appropriate that the Senate stands on the right side of history in doing so. It commemorates the truth of the Armenian genocide,” the resolution’s sponsor, Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), said.

Recognizing the mass killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians during WWI as a “genocide” has been vehemently opposed by the Trump administration, which argued such a move would further spoil already-tense relations with Turkey. Ankara, for its part, has long denied any mass killings took place, insisting that tens of thousands of both Turks and Armenians were killed as a result of the war.

A similar resolution was passed by the House of Representatives back in October by an overwhelming majority. The move sent Turkey into a frenzy, with the country’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu branding the “null and void” decision a “shameful” and petty “revenge” for Turkey’s independent foreign policy.

Also on rt.com ‘Revenge & political pressure’: US House recognizes Armenian genocide and threatens Turkey with new sanctions

The Senate’s decision is likely to invoke the same reaction, especially since the resolution was passed a day after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Turkey sanctions bill over its offensive in northeastern Syria and purchase of Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems. The legislation is the latest bid to press US President Donald Trump into taking a tougher stance on Turkey, which its sponsors described as designed to “change behavior” of Ankara. The latter, however, has already issued a rebuke of the initiative, signaling its “behavior” will remain the same.

“These initiatives do not have any function other than to harm Turkish-US relations,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement in response to the bill.

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