April 21, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918

RECORD NUMBER OF REPRESENTATIVES URGE PRESIDENT BUSH TO PROPERLY CHARACTERIZE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AS GENOCIDE

169 Legislators Join In Bipartisan Efforts by the Armenian Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC – Following an extensive nationwide grassroots campaign, a record number of U.S. Representatives – 169 – have joined together in sending a clear message to President George Bush to keep his campaign pledge to properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as a “genocide” in his annual April 24 address, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We want to thank Congressmen Knollenberg, Pallone, Radanovich and Schiff for their unprecedented success in rallying their colleagues to call upon President Bush to properly characterize the Armenian Genocide as a genocide in his April 24th remarks,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “The strong support for this initiative and the growing support for the Congressional Genocide Resolution point to the fact that the days of U.S. complicity in Turkey’s campaign of genocide denial are coming to an end.”

The Congressional letter was initiated by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) as well as Congressional Genocide resolution lead sponsors, Representatives George Radanovich (R-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). In the letter, the 169 Congressional co-signers noted to Pres. Bush that “by properly recognizing the atrocities committed against the Armenian people as “genocide” in your statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors.”

This signatories go on to state that, “now more than ever as your administration seeks to bring an end to global terrorism and to help establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the memory of the genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our cherished tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters.” The full text of the letter follows.

During his 2000 presidential campaign, President Bush had referred to the “genocidal campaign” perpetrated against the Armenian people and pledged to properly characterize that tragedy when elected President. Neither the President’s 2001, 2002, or 2003 April 24th statements have honored that pledge. Last year over 165 U.S. Representatives signed a similar letter to the President.

Genocide resolutions in the House and Senate that mark the 15th anniversary of the U.S. implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of Genocide have received broad bipartisan support. House legislation (H.Res.193), which mentions the horrors of the Armenian Genocide as well as the Holocaust and the Cambodian and Rwanda tragedies, was unanimously adopted by the Judiciary Committee last May and currently has 110 cosponsors. A similar measure (S.Res.164) introduced in the Senate by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) currently has 38 cosponsors.

Cosigners of the Congressional letter to President Bush include (in alphabetical order): Representatives Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Tom Allen (D-ME), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Joe Baca (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Bass (R-NH), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Chris Bell (D-TX), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Howard Berman (D-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Mary Bono (R-CA), Jeb Bradley (R-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Dave Camp (R-MI), Lois Capps (D-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), William Clay (D-MO), John Conyers (D-MI), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Duke Cunningham (R-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Susan Davis (D-CA), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), William Delahunt (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), John Dingell (D-MI), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), John Doolittle (R-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), David Dreier (R-CA), Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Sam Farr (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Mark Foley (R-FL), Vito Fossella (R-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Bart Gordon (D-TN), Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Joe Hoeffel (D-PA), Tim Holden (D-PA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Steve Israel (D-NY), Darrell Issa (R-CA), Jesse Jackson (D-IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Nancy Johnson (R-CT), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Sue Kelly (R-NY), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Gerald Kleczka (D-WI), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Nick Lampson (D-TX), James Langevin (D-RI), John Larson (D-CT), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), William Lipinski (D-IL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Robert Matsui (D-CA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Karen McCarthy (D-MO), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James McGovern (D-MA), John McHugh (R-NY), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Buck McKeon (R-CA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Martin Meehan (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Candice Miller (R-MI), George Miller (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Richard Neal (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Doug Ose (R-CA), C. L. “Butch” Otter (R-ID), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), William Pascrell (D-NJ), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Richard Pombo (R-CA), Jon Porter (R-NV), George Radanovich (R-CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Mike Rogers (R-MI), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Mike Ross (D-AR), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Edward Royce (R-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), H. James Saxton (R-NJ), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Brad Sherman (D-CA), John Shimkus (R-IL), Rob Simmons (R-CT), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Hilda Solis (D-CA), Mark Souder (R-IN), Pete Stark (D-CA), John Sweeney (R-NY), Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), John Tierney (D-MA), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH), Mark Udall (D-CO), Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD), Peter Visclosky (D-IN), James Walsh (R-NY), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Curt Weldon (R-PA), Gerald Weller (R-IL), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Frank Wolf (R-VA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Albert Wynn (D-MD),

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TEXT OF CONGRESSION LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH


April 21, 2004

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to urge you to join us in reaffirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide in your April 24 commemorative statement.

This date marks the anniversary of the systematic and deliberate campaign of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Over the following eight years, one and a half million Armenians were tortured and murdered, and more than half a million were forced from their homeland into exile. In the years since, descendents of Armenian immigrants have thrived in the United States and in many other countries, bringing extraordinary vitality and achievement to communities across this nation and throughout the world.

By properly recognizing the atrocities committed against the Armenian people as “genocide” in your statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the survivors. The official U.S. response mirrored the overwhelming reaction by the American public to this crime against humanity, and as such, constitutes a proud, irrefutable and groundbreaking chapter in U.S. diplomatic history.

Now more than ever as your administration seeks to bring an end to global terrorism and to help establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the memory of the genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our cherished tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters. The victims of the Genocide deserve our remembrance and their rightful place in history. It is in the best interests of our nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated.

We look forward to your April 24 statement and stand ready to assist you in this endeavor and in the many other matters of importance to our nation related to Armenia and the South Caucasus region.

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