The US Congress on Thursday formally recognized the 1915-1917 murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians as genocide.
The Senate’s passage of the repeatedly stalled resolution is expected to anger Turkey, which denies there was a genocidal mass murder, insisting the Armenians died as a result of World War I.
The resolution, which had already passed the House and was pushed in the Senate by Democrat Robert Menendez, had been blocked multiple times by allies of President Donald Trump, who has sought a closer relationship with Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Standing next to Trump at the White House during a visit to Washington in November, Erdogan warned that “some historical developments and allegations are being used in order to dynamite our reciprocal and bilateral relations.”
The resolution declares that it is US policy “to commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance.”
It is also policy to “reject efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide.”
“It is fitting and appropriate that the Senate stands on the right side of history,” said Menendez, fighting back tears.
“I am thankful that this resolution has passed at a time in which there are still survivors of the genocide who will be able to see the Senate acknowledges what they went through.”