The United States Congress formally recognized the "Armenian genocide" on Thursday in a symbolic vote that further strengthened Turkey's wrath at a crucial time for the future of relations between Washington and Ankara.
After the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority in late October, the Senate unanimously adopted a resolution to "commemorate the Armenian genocide by officially recognizing it".
He also called for "rejecting attempts […] to associate the American government with the denial of the Armenian genocide", in this text promoted by senators from both political sides but which had been blocked several times by Republican allies of Donald Trump.
"I am glad that this resolution was adopted at a time when there are still survivors of the genocide," one of its sponsors, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, said in the Chamber before being seized by the government. emotion and strive to contain tears.
As in October, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian hailed "a victory for justice and truth". "On behalf of the Armenians, I express my gratitude to the United States Congress."
And as in October, Turkey immediately denounced a vote that "jeopardizes the future of Turkish-American relations". Although these resolutions are not binding, parliamentarians urge the White House tenant to follow suit.
The Armenian genocide is recognized by around thirty countries and the community of historians. It is estimated that between 1.2 million and 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the First World War by troops of the Ottoman Empire, then allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Erdogan's outrages go awry
But Ankara refuses to use the term "genocide", evoking reciprocal massacres against the backdrop of civil war and famine that have left hundreds of thousands dead in both camps. However, relations between the United States and Turkey, allies within NATO, are going through a period of strong turbulence and are at a crossroads.
In Washington, the vast majority of the political class does not fool around in what it considers to be outrageous of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Especially since the Turkish army bought Russian air defense systems deemed incompatible with its membership in the Atlantic Alliance, then launched in October an offensive in Syria against the allied Kurdish forces of the West in the anti-jihadist war.
Sanctions against Turkey in sight
New sign of an unprecedented break, the Foreign Committee of the United States Senate adopted on Wednesday a bill supported by the Democrats as by the Republicans which envisages draconian sanctions against Turkey and its leaders.
If he passes the next steps, this text, even more than that on the Armenian genocide, risks placing Donald Trump in an overhang. The 45th President of the United States, in fact, willingly emphasizes his "friendship" with his Turkish counterpart, whom he received with great pomp a month ago in the Oval Office.
Relationship with Erdogan: Trump criticized by his camp
The former New York businessman has even been accused, even in his own camp, of having "abandoned" his Kurdish allies by leaving the field open to the Turkish attack in Syria.
His ex-envoy for the fight against the jihadist group Islamic State, Brett McGurk, noted Thursday on Twitter that a month after the controversial White House meeting, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had moved further from the West to get closer to Russia.
"These are the consequences when Trump pleases Erdogan without asking absolutely nothing in return," said the man who has become a fierce critic of the US president's foreign policy. "Trump's relationship with Erdogan has undermined any serious effort to push Turkey to be more constructive. "