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April 21, 2021, 8:35 p.m. EDT

Biden may recognize Armenian genocide, inflaming U.S. ties with Turkey

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William Mauldin

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is poised to formally recognize the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century, U.S. officials said, a rare step that would further inflame ties with Turkey.

Biden is expected to describe as genocide the deportation, starvation and massacres of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks beginning in 1915, the officials said.

The language would come as part of an annual statement coinciding with a day of remembrance on Saturday. Officials added no final decisions or briefings have taken place and that Biden could opt to issue the symbolic statement without describing the killings as genocide, as have other presidents.

Turkey denies the killings constituted genocide, saying that Armenians rose up against the government. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Haberturk television on Tuesday that a declaration by Biden would only harm ties. A spokesman for the Turkish embassy in Washington had no immediate comment.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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