The U.S. Senate passed a resolution on Thursday formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the period from 1915 to 1923 when forces of the Ottoman Empire systematically killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians and other ethnic minorities.
The resolution, identical to one that passed the House in October—championed by Adam Schiff—had been blocked in the Senate multiple times before New Jersey senator Bob Menendez brought it back to the floor today. No senator objected this time around, so the resolution at last passed through the upper chamber.
“We have just passed the Armenian genocide resolution…and it is fitting and appropriate that the Senate stands on the right side of history in doing so. It commemorates the truth of the Armenian genocide,” The Hill quoted Menendez saying on the Senate floor.
The move is likely to be seen as a cause for celebration in the Armenian-American community, including the estimated 200,000 Armenians living in Los Angeles County.
However, not everyone is pleased. The formal recognition has long been opposed by Turkey, and the relationship between the U.S. and Turkey is already strained. Just a day ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved new sanctions legislation against Turkey, and last week’s NATO meetings ended in “chaos,” as Newsweek described it, primarily over concerns about Turkey’s close relationship with Russia, and the Turkish invasion of Syria and conflict with the U.S.-allied Kurds.
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