Washington – (Agenzia Fides) – American President Donald Trump, on Monday 24 April, issued an official statement on the planned massacre 102 years ago of Armenians in the Anatolian Peninsula, but avoided referring to those systematic massacres as the Armenian Genocide, in keeping with the policy of his last 4 predecessors also to avoid any bitter reaction on the part of Turkey .
In the past Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Regan did use the expression “Armenian Genocide”, but then, from George H.W Bush to Barack Obama, the expression was dropped from White House statements.
The American President today, known for his uninhibited manner of speech, free of excessive diplomatic scruples even concerning delicate questions of international impact, has called the massacres of Armenians during the First World War “one of the worst masse atrocities of the 20th century", recalling that "beginning in 1915 , one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire". He then expressed his sympathy with the Armenian community all over the world “mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many ", word similar to those used by the more recent Presidents of the United States.
The American press recalls that President Obama, also because of Turkey’s pressure on the US Congress, shelved the promise made in his electoral campaign to recognise as genocide the massacres suffered by the Armenian people more than a century ago. It also underlines that President Trump was the first head of state to congratulate the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan following the results of the referendum in Turkey on 16 April, which ensured that the strongman in Ankara may extend his power.
Whereas American presidents refrain from officially acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, in 2016 the Congress of the United States and US Secretary of State John Kerry used the word “Genocide” regarding violence suffered in the Middle East by Christians and other ethnic-religious minorities committed by so-called Islamic State (DAESH) militia. On the basis of these statements, as Fides Agency reported (see Fides 19//2016) there was talk of providing possible American military supplies to the so-called “Christian militia” operative in the Nineveh Plain, justifying the operation as part of the war on DAESH jihadists. In that context, Fides Agency contacted Syrian Catholic Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo (see Fides 18 March 2016), head of the Syrian Catholic Arch Eparchy of Hassakè-Nisibi, who described the path which led the US Administration to define as “genocide” violence perpetrated by DAESH on Christians “a geopolitical operation to exploit the category Genocide for one’s own interest”. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 25/4/2017).