19:24 GMT13 July 2020
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    The Trump administration does not recognise the events of the last century involving Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide despite the Senate passing a resolution on the matter, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

    "The position of the administration has not changed. Our views are reflected in the President’s definitive statement on this issue from last April", Ortagus said.

    The statement comes after the US Senate on 12 December passed a resolution to recognise the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

    In November, the genocide was recognised by the US House of Representatives. The official recognition now stipulates that the US government not be associated with any denial of the Armenian Genocide.

    Earlier this year, the official recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Italy and Portugal caused outrage in Ankara. In France, denying the Armenian Genocide has been made into a punishable criminal offense by President Emmanuel Macron and the event is commemorated annually on 24 April. The genocide has been recognised by a total of 32 countries, including Russia, Canada, Germany, Uruguay, and others, as well as by Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    In April, US President Donald Trump stopped short of calling the events at the beginning of the last century, including the killing of more than 1.5 million Armenians, genocide and instead used the term "Mads Yegern", an Armenian phrase that translates to "great calamity".

    Over 1.5 million Armenians were killed, tortured, and starved to death in the Ottoman Empire in the period from 1915-1921 in what Armenia claims was a deliberate campaign by the Turkish authorities to eliminate the Armenians as a group. Ankara says that the atrocities took place during World War I and that the Armenians were not the only ethnic group affected. Turkey has called for creating an international commission of historians to study the country's archival documents in order to develop an objective approach to the events involving Armenians.

    genocide, Turkey, Armenia, United States
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