On Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden plans to officially recognize the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. The Wall Street Journal reported this, citing White House sources. This would be the most radical step in the assessment of the tragedy of the beginning of the last century, which no previous U.S. president has dared to take. Acknowledging the genocide would openly challenge Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and complicate U.S. relations with its most troubled ally to the extreme.
The U.S. President’s upcoming statement on Armenian Genocide Memorial Day, April 24, will be radically different from previous such addresses. Although the wording of Joe Biden’s message is still being refined, The Wall Street Journal’s sources say that the president must fulfill his campaign promise made last October at the finish of the presidential race. At the time, the Democratic presidential team pledged that if elected, Joe Biden would “recognize the Armenian genocide and make universal human rights a top priority for his administration to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”
Reserving intrigue, White House press secretary Jen Psaki neither refuted nor confirmed the media reports, suggesting to wait for Saturday’s speech, around which a diplomatic war has already erupted.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in his interview to Haberturk television channel warned Washington against such a step, pointing out that it would harm American-Turkish relations. Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Elin Suleymanov, warned that Washington’s recognition of the Armenian genocide “would not help to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations” and open the border between the two countries, which remains closed, but could be unblocked, given the results of the Karabakh war. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself had previously stated that this was a possibility.