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US Armenians to protest against Obama

Wed 20 April 2011 05:53 GMT | 10:53 Local Time
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Barack Obama

US Armenians are preparing to hold a protest against President Barack Obama in Los Angeles.

US Armenians are preparing to hold a protest against President Barack Obama in Los Angeles to accuse him of breaking his pre-election pledges to Armenians and rally their groups and congressional supporters, once again, to back a campaign to have the deaths of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 labeled a ‘genocide’ in the US

US Armenians have sped up a campaign to convince the country’s president to declare the events of 1915 as “genocide” in the run-up to April 24, "Armenian Remembrance Day" in the United States.

Members of the community are preparing to hold a protest against President Barack Obama in Los Angeles on Thursday for allegedly breaking pre-election pledges in 2008 to Armenians and Armenian groups to recognize their genocide claims. The group’s congressional supporters are hoping that the president finally recognizes the "Armenian genocide" this time around.

"On Thursday, April 21 at 3 p.m, Armenian-Americans from throughout southern California and across the American and Armenian political spectrums will join together for a public protest calling upon President Obama to honor his broken campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide," the lobby group the Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, said Tuesday.

"The demonstration, organized by the Armenian Genocide Community Task Force, will be held outside the president's first major fundraiser in southern California for next year's presidential election," ANCA said.

"California's Armenian American community is eager to see President Obama in Los Angeles," said ANCA Western Region Chairman Andrew Kzirian. "With the president's 2012 re-election effort now under way, the Armenian-American community will remind him of the profound moral and serious geopolitical costs of his decision to break his promise to clearly and unequivocally recognize the Armenian genocide.”

Armenians have urged numerous US presidents and Congress members to officially recognize the World War I-era deaths of their kinsmen in the Ottoman Empire as "genocide," but their efforts have so far been unsuccessful. Turkey has warned that any formal US recognition of genocide will worsen bilateral ties with the United States in a major and lasting way.

Around two dozen members of Congress met at the Senate on April 14 to commemorate what they see as the "Armenian genocide," ANCA said.

Pro-Armenian Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, urged Obama to recognize the "Armenian genocide."

"I expect my president, whom I have supported, to finally come through and stand up for what is right..., stand up as US president today to say... there was an Armenian genocide," Menendez said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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