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Gabbard Calls on Senate to Pass Armenian Genocide Resolution

November 2, 2019, 1:29 PM HST
* Updated November 2, 1:07 PM
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Official portrait of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard last week called on the U.S. Senate to pass a resolution commemorating the Armenian Genocide.

“We cannot allow history to repeat itself,” she said during an address on the House floor Thursday, Oct. 31. “I have visited both Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. I saw a Turkey which denies genocide and has no fear of committing it again.”

Between 1915 and 1922, roughly 1.5 million Armenians were murdered as part of an ethnic cleansing campaign by the Ottoman Empire. Armenian men were systematically murdered while women, children and the elderly were sent on death marches into the Syrian Desert. Turkey denies the atrocity should be referred to as genocide.

In 2017, Gabbard visited Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh as part of a Congressional delegation led by the Congressional Armenian Caucus. Nagorno Karabakh is a disputed territory officially recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but largely governed by the Republic of Artsakh, a de facto independent state ruled by an Armenian majority.

Gabbard met with public and community leaders as well as academics during her visit to discuss issues of mutual interest to the U.S. and Armenia. According to Gabbard, she also observed the impact the genocide had on Armenians in the region as well as the diaspora.

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“The denial of the Armenian Genocide has had contemporary consequences,” she said to members of the House. “The House has spoken with a clear voice, breaking the silence, recognizing the Armenian Genocide and we call on the Senate and President Trump to do the same.”

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The Hawai‘i State Legislature has passed resolutions reaffirming the Armenian Genocide and recognizing the independence of Nagorno Karabakh. Hawai‘i is one of 49 states to acknowledge the historical record of the genocide.

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