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House Committee Approves Armenian Genocide Recognition Legislation

Location: Washington, DC

September 15, 2005

Pallone Calls On Speaker Hastert To Allow Floor Vote This Year

Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and one of the lead authors of legislation that recognizes the Armenian Genocide, praised the House International Relations Committee for approving the legislation and encouraged House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to allow a vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this year.

The New Jersey congressman introduced H.R. 316 in June with U.S. Reps. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Adam Schiff (D-CA) and George Radanovich (R-CA).

The resolution calls on the president to ensure that the foreign policy of the U.S. reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing and genocide documented in the U.S. record relating to the Armenian Genocide.

"Today the House International Relations Committee moved this Congress one step closer to finally recognizing the atrocious acts inflicted by the Ottoman Turks on the Armenian people," Pallone said.

"It is now up to Speaker Hastert to realize the importance of this legislation, and finally allow a floor vote," Pallone said. "I continue to believe that if the entire House has an opportunity to vote on recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the truth will win out and American recognition will finally occur."

Pallone and his colleagues have worked for years to have the U.S. Congress join the likes of Canada, France, Italy, Poland and Sweden in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide.

"If America is going to live up to the standards we set for ourselves, and continue to lead the world in affirming human rights everywhere, we need to stand up and recognize the tragic events that began in 1915 for what they were---the systematic elimination of a people," Pallone continued. "The fact of the Armenian Genocide is not in dispute; the only step left is to reject the deniers.

"It takes humanity to overcome the ignorance that spurs the evil crimes of Genocide, and it's time the U.S. government recognizes these actions for what they were so that we can prevent such atrocities from occurring again," Pallone said. "The healing process cannot actually begin until recognition takes place, and that's why passage of this resolution is so important."

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