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Biden declares Armenian massacre a genocide, potentially alienating NATO ally Turkey

Move could strain relations with Turkey.

Updated: April 24, 2021 - 8:48pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Joe Biden on Saturday officially declared the 1915 Armenian massacre a genocide, a move which could strain relations with Turkey yet which has fulfilled a longtime symbolic policy goal of both Armenian and American activists. 

Biden in the White House announcement marked Apr. 24 as one in which the U.S. "remember[s] the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide," one in which "one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination."

The genocidal campaign was carried out by what was then the Ottoman Empire. Upon its dissolution that empire would transform into the current Republic of Turkey, which continues to deny that the massacre was in fact a genocide. 

"The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today," Biden said in the announcement.

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