Menendez Presses US Ambassador to Turkey Nominee on Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During confirmation hearing of former U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), expressed dismay at “Turkey’s aggressive actions in the region, as well as the repressive tactics used by the Erdogan regime against its own people at home…” and the need to have “an Ambassador who will not hesitate to hold Turkey accountable and will push it to live up the principles that undergird NATO membership—individual liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”

The Senator then pushed Flake on Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide in light of U.S. affirmation. Senator Menendez stated that “for many decades, the Armenian Genocide has been denied by the descendants of those who perpetrated it. In 2019, the Senate recognized the Armenian Genocide for the first time. In April of this year, on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, President Biden joined us in acknowledging this truth. In the past you’ve voted against resolutions that recognized the Armenian Genocide. Will you join this body and the Administration in reaffirming the Armenian Genocide?”

Senator Flake responded: “Yes.”

Senator Menendez continued: “If you’re confirmed, will you reiterate that commitment on April 24, which is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day?”

Senator Flake responded: “I will.”

In his written testimony, Senator Flake stated that: “If confirmed, I will encourage Turkey to support efforts to find a sustainable long-term solution to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan and encourage peaceful and diplomatic resolutions to disagreements in the Eastern Mediterranean.”