Marie Harf admitted that “there are some who I think were hoping to hear some different language this year. We certainly understand their perspective.” However, she noted that the president consistently stated his views about what happened in 1915.
Responding to her remark, the reported added that there were certainly some people who wanted no change.
Asked whether President Obama believes what happened was a genocide, Marie Harf asked to address the question to the White House. State Department representative also dodged the questions about Obama’s campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide that was not honored.
“The President – and look, we all understand there are some who wanted to hear different language this year, and I do think we can expect that the President will issue a statement this year that marks the historical significance of the centennial, and as in past years, mourns the senseless loss of 1.5 million Armenian lives. So he will speak about this in some way, but I don’t think you should compare any of these issues. I think if you want to talk about Iran and the commitments the President’s made, we can talk about that separately,” Ms. Harf said.
The State Department official admitted “there were discussions inside the interagency about what to say”.
Responding to a remark that the United States never “had this issue in calling the Holocaust what it was,” Marie Harf said she was not going to compare those two events.
Finally asked whether Administration is basically submitting itself to a gag order from the Turks, she made it clear that they “make decisions on our own about what we say and how we talk about things.”