People attend a ceremony marking the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in Yerevan, Armenia, on April 24, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The US State Department on Tuesday rejected the Senate's recent move that recognized the Ottoman Empire's mass killings against the Armenian people as "genocide."
"The position of the Administration has not changed. Our views are reflected in the President's definitive statement on this issue from last April," Morgan Ortagus, the department's spokesperson, said in a short statement.
US President Donald Trump issued a statement on April 24 this year, the global Armenian Remembrance Day, saying that "beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire."
In the statement, Trump did not describe the events as a genocide.
The US Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution that formally recognizes the Ottoman Empire's mass killings against the Armenian people as "genocide," a move that might further strain relations between Washington and Ankara.
The resolution was passed in the House of Representatives in late October but had been blocked by Republican senators several times at the request of the White House, which feared that its passage would infuriate Turkey.
Turkey, the Ottoman Empire's successor state, claims the mass killings did not constitute genocide. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the recognition by the US House of the "Armenian genocide" as "worthless" and the "biggest insult" to the Turkish people.