• The Senate passed the resolution unanimously
  • The State Department said the April administration on the issue was definitive
  • Turkey dismissed the resolution as political posturing

The Trump administration on Tuesday rejected a Senate resolution commemorating the Armenian genocide, something Turkey has denied and over which it has threatened retaliation.

The House passed its own version, 405-11, in October. Similar versions have stalled in Congress for years over fears they would hurt relations between Washington and Ankara.

“The position of the administration has not changed. Our views are reflected in the president’s definitive statement on this issue from last April,” the State Department said in a statement.

The nonbinding Senate resolution was approved unanimously Dec. 12. It affirms U.S. recognition and condemnation of the killing of some 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1923. It notes the U.S. ambassador at the time protested against what he called “a campaign of race extermination” and asked then-Secretary of State Robert Lansing to stop the persecution.

The resolution calls for official U.S. recognition of the genocide and to encourage education and public understanding of the facts.

In April, the White House issued a statement recognizing “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,” without using the term genocide.

"This [the Senate resolution] is a tribute to the memory of 1.5 million victims of the first #Genocide of the 20th century and bold step in promotion of the prevention agenda. #NeverAgain," Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on social media following the vote.

Turkey reacted angrily, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calling it a “political show” and a way of using history for political purposes. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the vote as “one of the shameful examples of how history can be politicized,” the Anadolu news agency reported.

Turkey denies there was any genocide, insisting instead the deaths were a consequence of World War I. It also puts the death toll way lower and includes Turks in the total.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was contemptuous when the House passed its version of the resolution, saying U.S. lawmakers have “no right to give lessons to Turkey.”

President Trump met with Erdogan at the White House last month and afterward told reporters the two countries planned to increase trade.

The Senate resolution was a rebuke of Turkey’s decision to invade northern Syria in late August to move Kurdish fighters, who were instrumental in the fight against the Islamic State group, away from its border. The Senate also wants to impose sanctions against Turkey for the incursion and the purchase of the Russian S-400 missile system despite the White House’s reluctance to impose sanctions.