The Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Thursday making it official American foreign policy to recognize the genocide of more than one million Armenians in Turkey.
The genocide took place from 1915 to 1923.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the bill, attempted to get it passed three times in recent weeks and was successful on the fourth try.
“By passing my Armenian Genocide resolution, the Senate finally stood up to confirm history: What happened from 1915 to 1923 was—most assuredly—genocide. There is no other word for it. There is no euphemism. There is no avoiding it,” Menendez said in a statement.
“To overlook human suffering is not who we are as a people. It is not what we stand for as a nation. We are better than that, and our foreign policy should always reflect this. I am beyond honored and humbled to be part of this important moment of our history.”
Menendez thanked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who helped get the resolution passed, while speaking on the House floor.
Cruz called the passage “an achievement for truth, an achievement for speaking the truth to darkness, for speaking the truth to evil.”
“The Menendez-Cruz resolution affirms U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide,” he added. “Its been far too long in coming.”
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan praised the resolution, calling it “a victory of justice and truth.”
Three different Republican Senators blocked the three previous attempts to get the resolution passed.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) blocked one attempt last month after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside President Donald Trump. Graham said he didnt want to “sugarcoat history or rewrite it.” He later said he blocked the resolution because Erdogan “was still in town” and he was “trying to salvage the relationship, if possible.”