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White House avoids calling Armenian deaths 'genocide'

People lay flowers at the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on April 21, 2015The White House avoided referring to the mass World War I killings of Armenians as genocide, as a diplomatic row raged ahead of the tragedy’s 100th anniversary. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and one of President Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisors hosted Armenian American leaders at the White House to discuss the centennial. McDonough and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes “discussed the significance of this occasion for honoring the 1.5 million lives extinguished during that horrific period,” the National Security Council said in a statement.

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