April 22, 2004
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918

SEN. KERRY CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Democratic Presidential Hopeful Outlines Strong History of Support for Armenian American Concerns in April 24th statement

WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic Presidential hopeful, Sen. John Kerry, called for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide today, in a statement issued to Armenian Americans marking the 89th anniversary of that crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

An outspoken advocate of U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Senator Kerry stated “I join Armenian Americans and Armenians worldwide in mourning the victims of the Armenian Genocide and I call on governments and people everywhere to formally recognize this tragedy. Only by learning from this dark period of history and working to prevent future genocides can we truly honor the memories of those Armenians who suffered so unjustly.” Earlier this week, Senator Kerry joined 22 of his Senate colleagues calling on President Bush to “refer to the mass slaughter of Armenians as genocide in your commemorative statement.” He was amongst the earliest cosponsors of the Genocide resolution (S.Res.164), which marks the 15th anniversary of the U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention.

“With this most recent statement honoring the victims of the Armenian Genocide, Sen. Kerry builds on his two decade long record of support for proper U.S. recognition of this crime against humanity,” stated Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.) “This election season, we look forward to ensuring that our community is fully aware of the Senator’s record on the Armenian Genocide and all issues of concern to Armenian American voters.”

In the statement, Sen. Kerry outlined his longstanding support for a broad range of Armenian American concerns. “In 1992, I authored an amendment to the Freedom Support Act making U.S. aid to Azerbaijan conditional on it taking steps to end its blockades against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. I supported the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act in 1996, which prohibits U.S. assistance to any country that restricts the delivery of U.S. humanitarian aid to another country. In 2003, I cosponsored legislation to extend “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) to Armenia. This January, I joined Senators Barbara Boxer, George Allen, Paul Sarbanes, Russ Feingold, and Jon Corzine in asking the President to urge Turkey to lift its embargo of Armenia.”

Senator Kerry’s complete record on Armenian American concerns is posted on the Armenians For Kerry website – www.armeniansforkerry.com . The website includes previous statements by the Senator and provides ways for Armenian American supporters to become active in the Kerry campaign through donations or other volunteer efforts.

The complete text of Sen. Kerry’s statement follows.

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Statement by Democratic Presidential Hopeful John Kerry
Marking the 89th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide


“April 24th marks the 89th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. Between 1915 and 1923 the rulers of the old Ottoman Empire killed or deported over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children in a systematic policy of ethnic extermination.”

“I thank Armenian Americans for their persistence in the struggle to gain international recognition of this atrocity. By keeping the memory of this tragedy alive, Armenian Americans remind us all of our collective responsibility to insure that such horrors are not repeated. I am proud of my work with the Armenian American community to gain broader recognition of the Armenian Genocide, including fighting alongside Senator Robert Dole in 1990 for designation of April 24 as a national day of remembrance for this tragedy.”

“I have been an unwavering supporter of many other important Armenian issues. In 1992, I authored an amendment to the Freedom Support Act making U.S. aid to Azerbaijan conditional on it taking steps to end its blockades against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. I supported the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act in 1996 which prohibits U.S. assistance to any country that restricts the delivery of U.S. humanitarian aid to another country. In 2003, I cosponsored legislation to extend “permanent normal trade relations” (PNTR) to Armenia. This January, I joined Senators Barbara Boxer, George Allen, Paul Sarbanes, Russ Feingold, and Jon Corzine in asking the President to urge Turkey to lift its embargo of Armenia.”

“I join Armenian Americans and Armenians worldwide in mourning the victims of the Armenian Genocide and I call on governments and people everywhere to formally recognize this tragedy. Only by learning from this dark period of history and working to prevent future genocides can we truly honor the memories of those Armenians who suffered so unjustly.”

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