US Senators launch fresh ‘genocide’ bill

US Senators launch fresh ‘genocide’ bill

US Senators launch fresh ‘genocide’ bill

Two senators including Republican US senator Mark Kirk launches a new effort for the passage in the Senate of an ‘Armenian genocide’ resolution.

Two pro-Armenian senators have formally launched a fresh effort for the passage in the U.S. Senate of an “Armenian genocide” resolution.

“Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turkey ... To honor the survivors and the memory of those lost, and to lead globally on human rights, the United States should finally join the European Union and 11 of our NATO allies in officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, said.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their forebears were killed in 1915 and 1916 by the forces of Ottoman Empire.

Turkey disputes the figure, arguing that only 500,000 died, and denies this was genocide, ascribing the toll to fighting and starvation during World War I.

“This resolution reaffirms in the strongest terms that we will always remember this tragedy and honor the memory of innocent Armenian men, women and children who were killed and expelled from their homeland. The Armenian Genocide must be taught, recognized, and commemorated to prevent the re-occurrence of similar atrocities from ever happening again,” Bob Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, said. 

The first step for the bill is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If the bill passes there, it will come to a 100-member floor vote. The U.S. President and the administration are against the passage of such a bill.