US Democratic Senator Robert Menendez (New Jersey) has posed a question about the Armenian Genocide to President Donald Trump’s nominee for Washington’s next ambassador to Turkey.
At a meeting held by the Foreign Relations Committee, the leading Senate champion of Armenian-American priorities asked David Michael Satterfield if he recognizes the 1915-1922 killings of the Armenians in Ottoman Empire as crime of genocide.
Despite his repeated attempts to elicit a concrete position, the diplomat gave somewhat evasive replies, avoiding a specific statement. He said only that the shares President Trump’s opinion that the events were one of the 20th century’s most horrendous crimes.
Satterfield even refrained from commenting upon the statement by Sir Henri Morgenthau, the US ambassador in the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, who described the Ottoman rulers’ decision to deport the ethnic Armenians as an “execution order” for an entire nation. “I am aware of that statement,” he said without elaborating further.
The question and answer session at the Committee was attended also by the ambassadorial nominees for Macedonia and Ireland.
The full video recording of the session is available here