Obama Will Not Label 1915 Massacre of Armenians as 'Genocide'

Featured Obama Will Not Label 1915 Massacre of Armenians as 'Genocide'

Recognizing the Armenian genocide was one of Obama’s presidential campaign promises in 2008.

The White House indicated Wednesday that President Obama would shy away from using the term “genocide” to describe the mass killing of Armenians at the hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1915.

"The president and other senior administration officials have repeatedly acknowledged the historical fact that 1.5 million Armenians were massacred and marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Wednesday.

"As we have said in previous years, a full frank and just acknowledgment of the facts is in all of our interests, including Turkey's, Armenia's and America's."

Many have been calling on the President of the United States Barack Obama to fulfill his campaign promise to use the term genocide. However, Obama decided earlier to maintain the policy of not using the term, after the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon advised against it.

Turkey, one of the most important U.S. allies in the Middle East, rejects the term genocide. The Turkish state also claims that the number of the Armenians who died during the last days of the Ottoman Empire did not exceed 300,000.

Obama has repeatedly warned Congress of using the genocide label as Turkey, a NATO member, threatened that it would suspend security and trade treaties if Washington adopts any legislation on the issue.

The Pope angered Turkey last week when he used the genocide label.

About two dozen governments describe the massacres as a genocide, and more are following suit, as Armenians accross the world get ready to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the event on April 24.

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