U.S. House recognizes Armenian Genocide, backs Turkey sanctions

The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

The House voted 405 to 11 in favor of the resolution, which calls on the U.S. government to “commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance and rejects efforts to enlist, engage, or otherwise associate the United States Government with denial of the Armenian Genocide or any other genocide.”

It says the government should also “encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide, including the United States role in the humanitarian relief effort, and the relevance of the Armenian Genocide to modern-day crimes against humanity.”

According to Reuters, the vote marked the first time in 35 years that such legislation was considered in the full House, underscoring widespread frustration in Congress with the Turkish government, from both Democrats and President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans.

Shortly after the Armenian genocide vote, House lawmakers from both parties also overwhelmingly backed legislation calling on Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria, another action likely to inflame relations with NATO ally Turkey.

The fate of both measures in the Senate is unclear, with no vote scheduled on similar legislation.

For decades, measures recognizing the Armenian Genocide have stalled in Congress, stymied by concerns that it could complicate relations with Turkey and intense lobbying by the Ankara government.

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