President Joe Biden marked the 106th anniversary of the start of the massacre of the Armenians during World War I by officially designating it as a genocide. Biden is the first U.S. president to declare the massacre a genocide.
"Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring," Biden said in a statement.
"Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future -- toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security."
The number of Armenians killed or displaced by the Ottoman Empire is disputed. Estimates of the death toll range between 300,000 to 2 million, while Ottoman authorities claimed the number of deaths was between 600,000 and 1.5 million.
Biden's declaration will test the relationship between the United States and Turkey. The Turkish government has denied that the mass killings were genocide, claiming there were just 300,000 casualties and that those who died were victims of World War I.
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