WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Saturday plans to follow through on a campaign pledge to formally recognize that atrocities committed against the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire more than a century ago in modern-day Turkey were genocide, according to U.S. officials familiar with the president’s deliberations.
Biden spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday in anticipation of his plan, in a presidential proclamation to mark Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, to use the term genocide to describe the killings and deportations of hundreds of thousands of Armenians. U.S. presidents for decades have acknowledged Remembrance Day to mark the events of 1915 to 1923 but have avoided using the term “genocide” to sidestep alienating Turkey.
The U.S. and Turkish governments, in separate statements following Friday’s call, made no mention of the American plan to recognize the Armenian genocide. The White House said Biden told Erdogan he wants to improve ties and find “effective management of disagreements.” The two also agreed to a bilateral meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels in June.