David L. Phillips: It would be helpful if Obama uses the term “Armenian genocide”
February 27, 2015
David L. Phillips: It would be helpful if Obama uses the term “Armenian genocide” –
David L. Phillips, currently director of the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights and a prominent American political scientist and analyst, declared during an nterview with the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman that the US president Barack Obama should pronounce the phrase Armenian Genocide.
Responding to the journalist’s question on the US government’s position on the resolution of the Armenian Genocide, Phillips said: “Let’s define “genocide.” It has four elements: more than one person must have died and these people must have been members of the same ethnic, religious or racial group. The perpetrator must have intended them to die and their killing must have been systemic.
What happened to the Armenians clearly meets these criteria. The United States should recognize the events in Armenia as genocide. President Obama has made his personal views well known. When you become the president of the United States you don’t have personal views – your views are those of the US government. It would be helpful if he was to use the term “Armenian genocide” and then the US and Turkey can move on and set this issue aside.”
David L. Phillips is currently Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Phillips has worked as a senior adviser to the United Nations Secretariat and as a foreign affairs expert and senior adviser to the U.S. Department of State. Hi is the authir of Unsilencing the Past: Track Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation (Berghahn Books, 2005).