President Joe Biden has formally recognized that the systematic killings and deportations of hundreds of thousands of Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century were “genocide” — using a term for the atrocities that his White House predecessors have avoided for decades over concerns of alienating Turkey.
With the acknowledgment, Biden followed through on a campaign promise he made a year ago Saturday — the annual commemoration of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day — to recognize that the events of 1915 to 1923 were a deliberate effort to wipe out Armenians.
While previous presidents have offered somber reflections of the dark moment in history via remembrance day proclamations, they have studiously avoided using the term genocide out of concern that it would complicate relations with Turkey — a NATO ally and important power in the Middle East.
But Biden campaigned on a promise to make human rights a central guidepost of his foreign policy. He argued when making the campaign pledge last year that failing to call the atrocities against the Armenian people a genocide would pave the way for future mass atrocities. An estimated 2 million Armenians were deported and 1.5 million were killed in the events known as Metz Yeghern.
“The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today,” Biden said in a statement. “We affirm the history. We do this not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu immediately criticized Biden’s statement.
During a Sunday morning BBC news program, China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming was in a rare segment asked point blank about viral footage which purports to show a terrifying scene from Xinjiang province of Muslim minority Uighurs being handcuffed and loaded onto train cars.
While the footage, which appears to have been secretly caught via drone, appears to be a year old or more, it resurfaced in recent weeks, gaining millions of views and reigniting allegations of Uighur people being mass shipped to communist ‘reeducation’ camps and sprawling detention centers.
Intelligence coming from the USA is indicating that the abuses against Uighur Muslims in Western China could be the worst crime since World War II.
Nusrat Ghani is Conservative MP for Wealden and she has been campaigning about the Uighur Genocide for some time now. She told Iain Dale that she is currently “trying to change the dialogue and get the UK government to incorporate the abuses that are taking place against the Uighur within the Magnitsky Act” which is a new law which allows government to seize assets of people committing serious crimes, if they have assets in the UK.
She told Iain that the Americans “have enough evidence against Chinese officials to say that they should have sanctions against them.”
“They are running state run detention centres with 2 million people incarcerated with at least half a million uighur children removed from their parents.” This, in dictionary terms, along with the apparent forced sterilisation of people in the “reeducation camps” constitutes a genocide, according to Ms Ghani.
“We can say it’s a genocide and we don’t have to be careful with the language” she said