Meretz MK Mossi Raz took part in ceremonies in the Armenia capital Yerevan on Sunday, marking the anniversary of orders given for the 1915 massacre of Armenians.
Raz laid a wreath at the memorial to the estimated 1.5 million victims and visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial complex.
"The time has come to remember the victims everywhere where cruel racism has been expressed," Raz said at the ceremony. "This is our obligation as Jews and humans."
Speaking from Yerevan, Raz said taking part in the ceremony was very special, adding that when he was reelected to the Knesset a year ago, he asked to chair the Israel-Armenia friendship group and started working on the visit.
"I think that with such a massacre, such a tragedy of 1.5 million people assassinated, we should talk about it and remember," he said.
Raz will meet on Monday with Armenian Foreign Ministry officials and members of the Armenian parliament.
Exactly a year ago, US President Joe Biden formally recognized the genocide, fulfilling a campaign pledge. Raz said America did the right thing, following decades of pressure from countries not to take such a step. He supports Israel following suit.
“I am happy about Israel’s friendships with Turkey and Azerbaijan, but they are not a good reason to ignore what happened,” Raz said. “No one who was involved in the massacre is still alive anyway.”
The late Meretz leader Yossi Sarid spearheaded efforts in Israel to officially recognize the genocide. He instituted teaching about it in schools as education minister in 2000. Sarid was the first minister who took part in the annual ceremony in Jerusalem marking the genocide.
Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai and Anat Berko former Likud MK visited Armenia for the ceremony in Yerevan in 2015.