In the capital of Armenia, applause and the pop of champagne corks greeted the vote by the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
People rejoiced at the resolution labelling the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 as “genocide”.
“Parliament will now cement itself as the source of progressive ideas,” Sociologist Ludmila Arutunyan said. “What will Armenians receive? Nothing. They are simply trying to continue their case for the recognition of genocide against people as a very important step in preventing genocide in general. There are no personal agendas here. This is social, human interest.”
On the streets of Yerevan, one passer-by said it was important to speak out against the killings, which happened amid the chaos surrounding World War I and the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.
“A progressive and civilised society should express its opinion, that it condemns such events, then it will be possible to live on this planet in a civilized way,” he said.
The vote comes at a tense time for Turkish-Armenian relations. The two countries had agreed on protocols forseeing diplomatic relations and an opening of the common border.
But Armenia’s highest court ruled against them, saying foreign policy must conform with the view of the killings as genocide.