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Obama, on his first day of visit to Turkey, said his views on mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915, which he has termed genocide, have not changed. However, Obama said he prefers not to focus on his views, in an attempt to be more encouraging around the Armenia-Turkey border opening talks.
Onnik Krikorian writes at Frontline: “History has the unfortunate habit of repeating itself as Armenians know only too well. This is especially true when it comes to U.S. presidential elections. Without fail, candidates running for the White House promise to recognize the WWI massacre and deportation of as many as 1.5 million Armenians living in the then Ottoman Empire as genocide only to have them renege on such campaign promises when in office. ”
Sevana sounds disappointed at Life in the Armenian Diaspora: “Obama’s first chance to openly acknowedge the genocide has come and gone. He struck out. Very, very disappointing. April 24 is his next chance. I hope he doesn’t blow that one, too.”
Citing Obama’s words Nazarian comments at The Armenian Observer blog: “What more do you want? The man openly said what had to be said. To say more while being their guest would equal to fight. This, after all, is diplomacy, not some trivial chit-chat.”
Bloggers seemed more interested in the points made about Armenian – Turkish border opening negotiations. Many of them said Turkey is using Armenia to make diplomatic gains.
The Freedom Fighter, for example, writes: “If the state of Armenia recognizes the Kars Treaty, that would mean a legitimization of Genocide.”
Mark Grigorian has also commented on the issue: “The Armenian media report of preparatory works being underway full speed for border opening, and that a deal has been reached in principle… and that the border will be opened in exchange for Obama’s not speaking of the Armenian issue during his Turkey trip and not pronouncing the word ‘genocide’ in April 24th traditional address.”
“At any rate,” the experienced journalist writes, “the border opening will mean that Armenia – Turkey relations are being separated from Armenia – Azerbaijan relations. And that is a serious shift in policy.”
Photo via RFE/RL