Fails to Recognize Genocide or to Signal Obama Administration Shift away from U.S. Complicity in Turkey’s Denials

July 5, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – After days of speculation and secrecy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, just hours ago, visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, but refrained from publicly recognizing the Armenian Genocide or signaling a shift away from the Obama-Biden Administration’s policy of complicity in the Turkish government’s denial of this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“As we stated several times in our public comments in the days leading up to Secretary Clinton’s travel to Armenia, her visit to the Armenian Genocide Memorial will hold profound meaning for Armenian Americans to the extent that it marks a real break from the Obama Administration’s morally bankrupt policy of complicity in Turkey’s campaign of genocide denial,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Given the secrecy surrounding this visit, and the absence of any publicly released remarks – much less a full and formal statement recognizing the Armenian Genocide by the Secretary – it would seem at this point, sadly, that this visit, while holding certain special importance in its own right – does not represent material movement toward proper U.S. condemnation and commemoration of this crime. This visit truly was a missed opportunity for the Secretary and for America.”

Secretary Clinton’s visit to the Memorial was shrouded in secrecy with local media barred from providing live coverage. Following her visit to the Memorial, Secretary Clinton proceeded to a meeting with civil society representatives and media outlets, where she discussed the importance of a strong democracy and unfettered media, but did not, apparently, allow for on-the-record comments or questions from participants. An earlier press conference held with Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandyan on July 4th limited U.S. and Armenian journalists to only two questions each.

As a presidential candidate, Secretary Clinton was outspoken on the importance of U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. In a January 24, 2008 statement, Clinton noted “I believe the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide. . . Our common morality and our nation’s credibility as a voice for human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States.”

Following her visit to Armenia, Secretary Clinton traveled to Georgia, the last stop of her five country regional tour.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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