Statement by Dr James Smith CBE, Chief Executive of the Aegis Trust:
“Staff and supporters of the Aegis Trust remember and mourn all those murdered during the Armenian Genocide, in which the Young Turk regime systematically planned and executed the deportation and mass murder of some 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, together with hundreds of thousands of Assyrians and other Christian minorities.
“We commend US President Joe Biden for his historic statement recognising the Armenian Genocide and we also commend other World leaders and nations who have acknowledged the truth.
“Just because genocide was not criminalised under international law until 1948 does not mean that it does not apply to preceding instances of the crime. Raphael Lemkin was inspired to define and outlaw precisely the widespread and systematic extermination of a people for which the perpetrators of the Armenian genocide enjoyed impunity at the time.
“Denial is the final stage of genocide. Refusal to acknowledge the crime adds to the pain of survivors and following generations. It also contributes to a climate of impunity for existing and would-be perpetrators of mass atrocities.
“We therefore urge the present Government of Turkey, all media organisations and all Governments around the World which have not yet done so, simply to recognise and accept the historic fact of the Armenian Genocide.
“In 1918, former US President Theodore Roosevelt described it as “the greatest crime of the war,” stating, “the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense”.
“The World failed to bring justice for the Armenian Genocide, but Roosevelt’s words ring as true today as they did then. The rest of the World should now follow President Biden’s example and accept the truth.”