Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday hailed US President Joe Biden’s recognition of the Armenian genocide. In a letter to Biden Pashiyan wrote that the US president’s acknowledgment is a ‘powerful step towards justice and invaluable support for the descendants of the Armenian genocide victims’. 

On the 106th anniversary of the 1915-1917 mass killings by the Ottoman Empire, Biden announced the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. “We honour the victims of the Meds Yeghern so that the horrors of what happened are never lost to history,” the White House press release read.

Pashinyan in his letter said that the recognition of the Armenian genocide by the United States is a ‘much-needed message to the international community’. He added that the message will reaffirm the primacy of human rights and values in international relations. “From this perspective, it sets an encouraging and inspiring example for all those who want to build a just and tolerant international society,” the Armenian PM concluded.

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Biden had pledged to finally use the word genocide to describe the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians during World War I. In doing so, the 78-year-old became the first US President in 40 years to use describe the loss of an estimated 1.5 million lives, as genocide.