President Biden on Friday spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a possible statement recognizing the Armenian genocide, which is expected to enrage Turkish nationalists.
Biden expressed “his interest in a constructive bilateral relationship with expanded areas of cooperation and effective management of disagreements,” the White House said in a statement.
Turkey’s government views the killing of about 1 million Armenians in World War I as the result of war-related causes rather than a deliberate ethnic cleansing of the Christian ethnic group.
Erdogan, an authoritarian Islamist in power since 2003, has had a difficult relationship with the US — particularly after Erdogan watched in 2017 as his guards attacked US citizens near the White House after a meeting with then-President Donald Trump.
Catholicos Garegin II, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, attends a ceremony commemorating the 105th anniversary of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces in 1915.AFP via Getty Images
Fifteen of Erdogan’s guards