ANCA directs ten questions to Secretary Clinton

Published: Friday February 17, 2012

Secretary Clinton met with Armenia's foreign minister on February 4 in Munich. Official photo

Clinton continues to characterize Genocide as conflict rather than crime in response letter

WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a written response to a letter of protest from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), refrained from again mischaracterizing the Armenian Genocide as a "matter for historical debate," but stopped far short of properly characterizing this atrocity as a crime, much less keeping the pledges that both she and President Obama have made to fully and formally recognize this clear case of genocide.

"While we value the willingness of Secretary Clinton to engage with Armenian American voters during this political season, and certainly take note of the fact that she has refrained from repeating her recent highly offensive comments directly calling into question the Armenian Genocide, we remain deeply troubled by her misguided efforts to downgrade an international crime of genocide to a simple bilateral conflict," said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian.

"This is the Turkish government's false and immoral narrative, fabricated by Ankara and its allies to somehow defer the day when the Turkish state and society will - voluntarily or not - face the inevitable moral and material responsibilities for their crimes."

The full text of Secretary Clinton's March 1st response is provided below.

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TEXT OF SECRETARY CLINTON'S LETTER TO ANCA

THE SECRETARY OF STATE
WASHINGTON

March 1, 2012

Mr. Kenneth V. Hachikian
Chairman
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Dear Mr. Hachikian:

Thank you for your recent letter regarding my remarks during the January 26 State Department Town Hall meeting.

The issue you raise is a serious one. On April 24,2011, President Obama memorialized the 1.5 million Armenians who, in 1915, were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, resulting in one of the worst atrocities of the twentieth century. During my visit to Armenia in 2010, I visited the memorial at Tsitsernakaberd as a sign of respect for those who lost their lives during this tragedy. In his statement, the President also noted "History teaches us that our nations are stronger and our cause is more just when we appropriately recognize painful pasts and work to rebuild bridges of understanding towards a better tomorrow." In support of the President's policy, I continue to urge Armenia and Turk. Only by working together to address these horrific events can they achieve a full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the facts.

In addition to my ongoing dialogue with Armenian and Turkish officials, the United States will continue to support the courageous steps taken by individuals in Armenia and Turkey to foster a dialogue that acknowledges the history they share in common as part of efforts to move forward. It is my belief that their efforts are laying the foundation for a more prosperous and peaceful future for the peoples of both countries and the region as a whole.

Sincerely yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

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