The Armenian Genocide issue was raised during the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s hearing on the situation over Turkey’s invasion into Syria.
James Jeffrey, special representative for Syria engagement, answered the questions of the committee members.
Speaking about Turkey’s poor human rights record, Congressman Albio Sires said “there’s a history of Turkey doing cleansing - especially of the Armenians.”
“I was struck by the animosity. It reminded me of the hatred they [Turkey] had for the Armenians that led to the Armenian Genocide,” Congressman Chris Smith told colleagues.
Congressman Brad Sherman grilled U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer official on the Armenian Genocide.
“We were told [don't recognize the Armenian Genocide, because] Turkey’s a great ally of the United States, don’t put that at risk. How’s that working out for us?” Sherman asked.
Palmer went on to say that the “massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915” was one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century.
Sherman recalled that France recognized the Armenian Genocide, but still has relations with Turkey.
“We have cowered. We have dishonored ourselves, in front of a paper tiger that the French had the courage to confront. And we have achieved nothing, in terms of being able to call Turkey a great ally,” he added.