January 22
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Vartkes Mahdessian, the representative of the Armenian community in the Cypriot House of Representatives, is hopeful that US President Biden on Saturday will recognize the Armenian Genocide, Cyprus Mail reported.

Biden is likely going to use the word “genocide” as part of a statement on April 24 when annual commemorations for the victims are held around the world, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Asked for comment, Mahdessian told the Cyprus Mail that such a move would be of historic importance—likely leading to many other countries recognizing the mass killings as genocide.

“This would be the vindication of our struggles over so many years for recognition, of the tragic events which occurred in 1915 and 1923,” Mahdessian said.

“Of course, in the past, we have been disappointed that promises were made by previous [US] presidents but these were not honored.”

But notably, in 2019, the US Senate passed a non-binding resolution recognizing the killings as a genocide, in a historic move that infuriated Turkey.

A year ago, while still a presidential candidate, Biden commemorated the 1.5 million Armenian men, women, and children who lost their lives in the final years of the Ottoman Empire and said he would back efforts to recognize those killings as a genocide.

“The Cypriot parliament was the first European country to officially recognize the Armenian genocide in 1975 and in 2015, on the one hundredth commemoration of the genocide, it was criminalized by law to deny it as such,” Mahdessian added.

The Cypriot parliament on Thursday, before its closing session, held a minute’s silence to honor the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

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