Genocide Resolution in U.S. Congress in Center of Armenian Media Attention

“Despite warnings from Turkey and the White House, the BBC reports that House Resolution 106 which would recognize the massacre and deportation of Armenians living in Ottoman Turkey as Genocide has been passed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.” Onnik Krikoryan reports on his blog. With 27 pro, 21 against co-relation, the US House of Representatives foreign affairs committee adopted a “pro-Armenian” resolution, Yerkir-Media reports, so does A1plus, noting, that after 3 hour-long discussions the house representatives adopted the 106 resolution calling to describe the “mass killings of Armenians more than eight decades ago” with its real name – Genocide.

Armenian media also pay a lot of attention to the violent attempts by Turkey to influence the decision. Public TV of Armenia featured live broadcasts from US Congress most of last evening. Yerkir-Media also had, quite predictably – excellent coverage, and also has put up a number of articles and videos on their website, describing the news as the “loss of Turkish diplomacy”.  A1plus is a little more cautious, bringing in the results of street inquiries and emphasizing the words of fellow-citizens, who think, that its still too early to celebrate, as George W. Bush has veto power, and reminding, that the House of Representatives has yet to adopt the resolution. PanArmenian net also responds pro-actively to the news, covering it almost on an hourly bases here, here, here, here, here and here, and quoting Armenian Assembly Country Director for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, Arpi Vartanian as saying “Adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution by U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs is a big victory of the Armenian community of U.S.,” and also warning about the difficulties that lie ahead:

[PanARMENIAN.Net:11.10.2007] The AAA Country Director assumed the possibility of failure of the resolution in the full House. “Pressure on the Representatives is too strong. All kinds of tools are enabled. But Turkey’s blackmail will yield no fruit. Just remember the Turkish government’s fulmination against France and other states, which recognized the Armenian Genocide. But time has passed and Turkey forgot its threats, since they would have damaged its own interests. We carried out an investigation in 10 U.S. states which recognized the Armenian Genocide but have trade relations with Turkey. It turned out that the commodity turnover increased after recognition. Indeed, it doesn’t mean that Turkey will settle down and quit lobbying in the Congress. I should mention that it was the Armenian lobby from whom Turks learned how to work with Congressmen. But, naturally, they have more opportunities and more funds,” she said. also covers the developments in a number of articles, and marks about the Prayer of the Armenian Catholicos in U.S. Congress:

[] Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin B made a speech and read prayers yesterday while the Foreign Relations Commission was discussing Resolution 106 in U.S. Congress. Before leaving for Washington, on October 9, the Catholicos noted during a meeting of Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee: “The Genocide is a fact and denying it or opposing its recognition, no matter from what side, is unacceptable.” In the course of his visit to USA, the Armenian religious head visited the Memorial of Sacrifice in Boston and paid respect. The Catholicos mentioned that, as a nation that has undergone genocide, we share the suffering of other nations that have gone victim to acts of genocide. He appreciated the attitudes that recognize the Genocide committed against the Armenian nation.

Most of the “big” newspapers are as usual, too slaw to respond, evidently the resolution was adopted after most newspapers were sent to print and they all have small bits and pieces on their websites, as was done by Azg. Haykakan Zhamanak seems to have totally ignored the news, while Aravot has a cover photo/story saying George Bush and Condoleezza Rice have assumed their “traditional posture” of warning against the resolution.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. It is, of course, an important step forward in a long overdue obligation on the part of U.S. law-makers to acknowledge the heinous fact of the world history and reprimand the Turkish government for its policy of denial of the genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks against the Armenian people. However, efforts of the Armenian Diaspora and their lobbying organizations should not be focused solely on advancing the genocide recognition. They should also acknowledge the fact that almost half of the Armenian citizens has emigrated from Armenia starting 1991, as a result of anti-popular, repressive, and self-enriching policies conducted by the both ruling regimes under presidents Ter-Petrossian and Kocharian.
    For me, it is more alarming actuality threatening the security and prospects for well-being of our people. The Diasporan Armenians should stop supporting or making investments to the unpopular, unelected, illegitimate regime of Robert Kocharian, a provincial Karabakhi who has installed himself to presidency not being even a citizen of Armenia. If Serzh Sarkissian, another provincial, is “elected” as a result of vote-rigging, the same rejectionist policies on part of the Diasporans should apply to him.
    The present, naturally, bears more weight than the past. This is not to say that the past should be forgotten or efforts for genocide recognition should be stopped. Of course, not. But the Diasporan Armenians need to understand that it is the will of their co-ethnics in Armenia, living under the unbearable burden of narrow-minded, self-centered, semi-literate rulers and their Mafiosi clans that matters. The threat of de-population, de-moralization and impoverishment of people that continues today in Armenia as a result of careless, ignorant policies of the rulers is, to me, more important to address.

  2. […] Armenian Observer also provides a digest of local media reaction to the resolution, but says that the news came too late for most of the newspapers to include […]

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