Hay Dat: Armenian Americans remain committed to struggle for Genocide affirmation

Hay Dat: Armenian Americans remain committed to struggle for Genocide affirmation

Photo: www.asbarez.com

Aram Hamparian

United States President Barrack Obama again preferred using the Armenian expression “Meds Yeghern” (or Great Calamity) to describe the 1915 massacres and deportations of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as he commemorated “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century” late on Saturday. This was also the case in Obama’s previous two April 24 statements as U.S. president.

Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), one of the largest and most influential Armenian-American groups, said shortly before Obama’s statement that Armenians did not seem to have particularly great expectations to hear the president say the word this time around after he had backpedaled on his election pledge twice before.

In an interview with several Armenian media at the ANCA office in Washington, Hamparian said that the recent Turkish-Armenian relations have affected the genocide affirmation process and served as an excuse for the White House not to fulfill the promise.

“Armenians here and in Armenia have gained nothing from those protocols. And now it is time Armenia withdraws its signature,” said the ANCA executive director in reference to the two diplomatic protocols signed by Armenia and Turkey in October 2009 as a consummation of presidents Serzh Sargsyan’s and Abdullah Gul’s yearlong “football diplomacy”. The protocols, however, have never been ratified in either country’s parliaments and Sargsyan suspended the process in Armenia last April citing repeated Turkish preconditions for the completion of the process. Armenia, however, indicated it did not annul its signatures to the documents, thus leaving the door open for the resumption of an unconditional rapprochement process.

In the interview Hamparian also commented on some protests staged by Turks in several cities of the United States these days. He said it was not the Turkish community, but rather the Turkish government and its lobby that were behind the protests.

“We must continue to work towards the recognition of the genocide, we have come a long way, more than 40 states have recognized the genocide, now different universities, large newspapers also recognize that fact,” says Hamparian. “We are going forward in every direction, but we haven’t got to where we want as far as the White House is concerned.”