Joe Biden is expected to become the first sitting U.S. President to formally recognise the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I as genocide. GZERO Media’s Ian Bremmer, the first to report the likelihood, followed by other American media quoting unnamed White House Officials, said Biden could use the word ‘genocide’ in a statement on April 24 when commemorations for the victims are held around the world, but a final decision has not been made. The move could come despite Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s warning in an interview to Haberturk TV that “If the U.S. wants to worsen ties, the decision is theirs.” As a candidate, Biden promised to recognise the mass killings as genocide and Vice President Kamala Harris was co-sponsor of a non-binding 2019 Senate decision to recognise the genocide. Ties between the U.S. and Turkey, a member of NATO, have been worsening over Ankara’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 air-defence system, human rights issues and Turkey’s role in regional conflicts. The U.S. has also removed Turkey from an international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme. Nearly 100 days into his presidency, Biden has still not spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
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