Obama stops short of calling Armenian deaths genocide

US President Barack ObamaWashington  - US President Barack Obama on Friday called for a "just acknowledgment of the facts" over the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians toward the end of the Ottoman Empire, but stopped short of declaring that the killings were a genocide.

Obama has been under pressure from the Armenian-American community to live up to a campaign pledge by declaring that the massacre amounted to a genocide.

Turkey, a critical US ally, has fiercely opposed any such declaration and has warned that doing so would have severe consequences on relations between Ankara and Washington. (dpa)