A resolution recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide unanimously passed the Senate on Thursday.
"From 1915 to 1923, the Ottoman Empire carried out a force deportation of nearly 2 million Armenians, of whom 1.5 million were killed," bill co-author Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. "We must never be silent in the face of atrocity."
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a co-author of the bill, said he is "thankful this resolution has passed at a time in which there are still survivors of the genocide. [They] will be able to see the Senate acknowledge what they went through." Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan also praised the move, calling it a "victory of justice and truth. On behalf of the Armenian people worldwide, I express our profound appreciation to the Senate for this landmark legislation." Catherine Garcia
The House voted 405-11 on Tuesday to pass legislation formally recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide.
The Ottoman Empire killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians, and the resolution officially designates this a genocide. Turkey has long denied that a genocide occurred, and the country's foreign minister, Mevlüt Cavusoglu, called the resolution "an attempt to rewrite history" and a "meaningless political step."
Earlier in the day, the House voted 403-16 to impose economic sanctions against Turkey, two weeks after the country invaded Syria to assault Kurdish forces. Turkey was able to easily cross the border after President Trump moved U.S. troops out of the way following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Prior to the vote on recognizing the genocide, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, "If we ignore history, then we are destined to witness the mistakes of the past be repeated. Recent attacks by the Turkish military against the Kurdish people are a stark reminder of the danger in our own time." Catherine Garcia