U.S. President Donald Trump did not label the 1915 events as "genocide" and instead used the term "Meds Yeghern" (Great Disaster) in a statement released Monday on Armenian Remembrance Day.
Trump's predecessor Obama also used the term "Meds Yeghern" to describe the 1915 events that took place in the height of World War I.
A statement released by the White House said that Trump joins the Armenian community in the U.S. and around the world "in mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many."
The deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some Armenian nationalists sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey describes the events of 1915 as a tragedy for both sides. Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia, along with international experts, to tackle the issue.
Whereas Armenia, joined by its powerful diaspora institutions around the world, describe the killings as "genocide" with a highly inflated estimate of up to 1.5 million deaths.
Trump used the same estimation in his statement and said that the deaths resulted from deportation, massacres and death marches.
"We welcome the efforts of Turks and Armenians to acknowledge and reckon with painful history, which is a critical step toward building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future," Trump concluded his statement .