WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton clarified, this week, com- ments she made on the Armenian Genocide during a Town Hall meeting on January 26. Writing in response to the Armenian Assembly’s letter to President Barack Obama, Clinton invoked Obama’s state- ment from last April, which “memorialized the 1.5 million Armenians who, in 1915, were massacred or marched to their death,” reported the Armenian Assembly of America.
Clinton stated that the issue raised by the Assembly “is a serious one” and recounted her 2010 visit at the Armenian Genocide Memorial (Tsitsernakaberd) in Yerevan, Armenia as a “sign of respect for those who lost their lives…” Clinton also repeated Obama’s call: “Only by working together to address these horrific events” can “a full, frank and just acknowledge- ment of the facts” be achieved.
Members of Congress have also weighed in on Clinton’s remarks and sent a bipartisan letter urging her to dis- avow her mischaracterization of the Armenian Genocide. A response to this letter, which was spearheaded by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Robert Dold (R-IL), is expected shortly.
In addition to the Congressional letter, Schiff pressed Clinton on this issue last month when she testified before the House
Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on the president’s 2013 budget proposal. During the Subcommittee hearing, Schiff recalled the voluminous US record on the Armenian Genocide, as well as the secre- tary’s statements during her tenure as sen- ator.
Schiff then asked Clinton directly if she had changed her views. She explained that her comments were in reference to the French Parliament’s recent legislation on the Armenian Genocide and should be viewed in that context. Clinton then went on to restate Obama’s policy as articulated in his annual April 24 statements.