US presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders said he is ready to recognize the Armenian genocide, the Armenpress news website reported on Saturday.
During a round-table discussion on July 26 in Los Angeles, the US presidential candidate vowed to address it as such during the annual presidential address on April 24, unlike previous presidents who failed to keep their promise to do so.
When asked, “Will you stand up to the Turkish government and officially use the word genocide?” the senator said, “Yes, I think the debate [on the genocide] is now over.”
Sanders is currently a co-sponsor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution S.Res.150, spearheaded by senators Bob Menendez and Ted Cruz.
Many historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the Ottoman Empire during World War I and regard the mass killings as the first genocide of the 20th century.
Turkey disputes the description, contending that the toll has been inflated and that those who died were victims of civil war and unrest.
France officially acknowledged the genocide in 2001. At least 22 other countries, including Germany, have followed suit.