WASHINGTON, DC — The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) issued the following statement on a banner day for upholding justice, human rights, and the rule of law in the U.S. House of Representatives with the passage of two significant pieces of legislation:

AHI applauds the passage of H.Res.296, a resolution affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide, by a resounding vote of 405 to 11.

“We congratulate the Armenian American community who has endeavored for decades to reach this landmark moment,” AHI President Nick Larigakis said. “This historic vote by the U.S. House of Representatives signifies an end to America’s foreign policy silence on the Armenian Genocide, a crime against humanity, and on Turkey’s denial of it.”

In the resolution’s “Whereas” clauses (background information or reasons and rationale for the resolution), it recognizes the United States’ proud history of “…providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians.”

AHI thanks the resolution’s sponsors, Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), its co-sponsors, and all who voted in its favor.

U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are sponsors of a similar resolution in the U.S. Senate, S.Res.150. It has 20 co-sponsors.

“We urge the United States Senate, specifically Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to now take action and affirm the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide by adopting S.Res.150.”

House Passes Bill to Sanction Turkey

Furthermore, AHI applauds the passage of another bipartisan bill, H.R.4695, Protect Against Conflict by Turkey (PACT) Act, sponsored by Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), ranking member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, that if enacted, will impose sanctions on Turkey for its invasion of northeast Syria. The House also passed the PACT Act by an overwhelming margin, 403 to 16.

“The United States must sanction Turkey for its invasion of northeast Syria,” President Larigakis said. “It is important the United States takes a stand and sends a strong message to Turkey and the House’s passage of this sanctions bill is a solid step in that regard. Otherwise, Turkey will continue with its aggressive and provocative acts, which are egregious, without fear of repercussion.”

He added, “We sincerely thank the bill’s sponsors, co-sponsors, and all who voted in favor of it and we again urge the U.S. Senate to pass similar legislation that sanctions Turkey.”