Politics 10:55 25/10/2019 Armenia

US House to vote on Armenian Genocide resolution next week

The Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res. 296, is scheduled to come for a floor vote next week, Asbarez reported, citing sources in Congress. The US House Rules Committee announced late Thursday that it will meet Monday to discuss the matter.

“With the president caving in to Erdogan, it’s up to Congress to speak out for America,” Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, told Yahoo News, referring to President Donald Trump’s announcement Wednesday that U.S. sanctions against Turkey would be lifted and claimed a “breakthrough” in the Syria crisis.

Hamparian added that the resolution would be a “signal” to the Turks that “Washington won’t be bullied, U.S. policy can’t be hijacked and American principles are not for sale.”

Earlier Thursday, the leadership of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), released a statement welcoming the move to schedule a vote next week.

“As the leadership of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, we are very pleased that H.Res. 296, a resolution recognizing and memorializing the Armenian Genocide, will receive a vote next week by the full House. The genocide, which lasted from 1915 to 1923 and killed 1.5 million Armenians as well as many other religious and ethnic minorities, was recorded in real time by American diplomats and is supported by historical records,” said the Congressional Caucus leaders.

“Too many Americans are unaware of the first genocide of the 20th century, as well as the massive humanitarian response led by the United States which saved countless lives. At a time when Turkey has launched a campaign into Northern Syria, which has killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians, it is all the more important that the House speak clearly and directly about crimes against humanity, whether they occurred a century ago or in the present day. Next week, all Members of the House can go on record to state clearly the historic fact of the genocide, joining 49 U.S. states and many of our closest allies that have already taken this important step,” added the Congressional Caucus leaders.

In a separate statement, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is one of the lead authors of the resolution welcomed the scheduling of the vote, saying this was a moment that been years in the making.

“Next week, the House will vote on H.Res. 296, the Armenian Genocide Resolution. This is a moment that has been years in the making, and I’m grateful for the tireless advocacy of so many who insisted that the United States must never be a party to genocide denial. In my years of advocacy for recognition, I have met countless survivors, and though their numbers have dwindled with the passage of time, their children and grandchildren carry forward their legacy. As we move towards a vote, their faces are seared into my memory, as are their stories of escaping the killing fields, surviving the death marches, and striving to build a new life as Americans, with tens of thousands who settled in Los Angeles,” explained Schiff.

“Recent weeks have brought images of families and children fleeing their homes in terror, headed to nowhere except away from the bombs and mortars. These images make the memory of one hundred years ago feel like yesterday. Denial of genocide causes pain to the survivors, yes, but it also gives succor to human rights abusers of today, who can rest easily that the passage of time and the accumulation of power will wipe clean their reputation. As Hitler said at the outset of the Holocaust, ‘Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians,’” added Schiff.

“We will never forget, not the Armenians, not the Jews, not the Kurds. And we will act with the same urgency to recognize the genocides of the last century as we do to halt the atrocities of today. I hope all Members will join me in support of H.Res. 296 next week,” said Schiff.

“I’m proud that the Rules Committee will be considering this resolution next week,” the House Rules Committee’s chairman, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., told Yahoo News, noting that his Worcester-area district has the oldest Armenian diaspora community in the United States. “Not acknowledging the genocide is a stain on our human rights record and sends the exact wrong message to human rights abusers around the world,” he added.

Earlier this week, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and other leading legislators first publicly reported that the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.296) is set to come before the U.S. House for a vote as early as next week.

“I’m sure the government of Turkey is not happy with [these plans], but then again we’re not happy with the government of Turkey,” said Chairman Engel told reporters, according to an NPR report earlier Tuesday.



Source Panorama.am
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