White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany referred to the “Armenian genocide” during Monday press briefing in a move that goes against the US government’s official position on atrocities that took place before and during the World War One.
U.S. does not formally recognize the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide, despite the fact that both chambers of the U.S. Congress passed the Armenian Genocide resolutions, recognizing the events as genocide in the fall of 2019.
MsEnany referenced an “Armenian genocide memorial” while citing monuments and memorials that have recently been vandalized amid nationwide protests over racism and police brutality.
“There seems to be a lack of understanding and historical knowledge when the Armenian Genocide Memorial, remembering victims of all crimes against humanity, including slavery, is vandalized,” McEnany said while mentioning “Armenian genocide memorial” as one of those memorials vandalized due to this lack understanding. However, McEnany’s administration currently does not recognise those events as genocide.
The White House did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on whether the Trump administration recognised the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide.
The Turkish embassy in Washington also kept silence on the matter, Insider added.
Meanwhile, the Armenian Assembly of America head Bryan Ardouny appreciated in a statement the administration’s stance to underline the Armenian Genocide memorial vandalized in Denver.
The mass killings of Armenians committed by the Ottoman government in 1915 are recognised as a genocide by many states and commemorated on April 24 each year across the world. But the Turkish government vehemently rejects the mass murder of Armenians calling it a World War I atrocity.
In an effort to avoid angering Turkey, a NATO ally, the US government has generally referred to the killings as “mass atrocities,” stopping short of calling it “genocide.”