WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama Friday declined to use the term "genocide" to characterize the 1915 incidents, but referred to the Armenian term "Meds Yeghern," employed by Armenians to depict the events.
In his annual April 24 statement to mark the "day of remembrance of the Armenian deaths," Obama urged
"Ninety-four years ago, one of the great atrocities of the 20th century began. Each year, we pause to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were subsequently massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the
Meds Yeghern literally means "great catastrophe."
"History, unresolved, can be a heavy weight. Just as the terrible events of 1915 remind us of the dark prospect of man’s inhumanity to man, reckoning with the past holds out the powerful promise of reconciliation." the president said. "I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts."
Obama was referring to his statements during last year's election campaign, when he pledged to recognize the 1915 incidents as "genocide."
In his April 24 statement, he did not use the g-word, voicing full support for the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process.
MESSAGE TO BOTH SIDES
"The best way to advance that goal right now is for the Armenian and Turkish people to address the facts of the past as a part of their efforts to move forward. I strongly support efforts by the Turkish and Armenian people to work through this painful history in a way that is honest, open, and constructive," he said.
"To that end, there has been courageous and important dialogue among Armenians and Turks, and within
The issue of the 1915 incidents is highly sensitive one both in