Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of his bill, H.R. 4695 the Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act, which imposes sanctions on Turkey for its military invasion of northern Syria. The legislation passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.
"The resolution before us is an important measure to set the record straight on the atrocities suffered by the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
"We know what happened in this dark period of history. Between 1915 and 1923, 1.5 million Armenians were murdered. This was a genocide—and it’s important that we call this crime what it was.
"Many American politicians, diplomats, and institutions have rightly recognized these atrocities as a genocide, including America’s Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time, Henry Morgenthau, and later President Ronald Reagan.
"It’s time that we set the record straight. Only by shining a light on the darkest parts of our history can we learn to not repeat them. And properly acknowledging what has occurred is a necessary step in achieving some measure of justice for the victims.
"House Resolution 296 sticks to the historical facts. It is a good, commonsense measure with broad bipartisan support.
"I want to thank Mr. Schiff, the resolution’s author, as well as Ms. Eshoo, Ms. Speier, Ms. Shalala, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Smith, and the many other bipartisan champions of this issue for their persistent, steadfast pursuit of recognition for the suffering the Armenian people endured.
"I strongly support this measure and urge all my colleagues to do the same. With its passage, we put Congress on the right side of history. Properly acknowledging and condemning this horrific genocide."