WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is pledging solidarity with Armenians but isn't calling what happened to them 100 years ago "genocide."

Obama says the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks is a solemn moment that calls for reflection on the importance of historical remembrance and the work of reckoning with the past.

In a statement Thursday, Obama said he has consistently stated his view on what happened in 1915 and that his view has not changed.

As a U.S. senator and candidate for president, Obama described the killings of Armenians as "genocide" and said the U.S. government had a responsibility to recognize them as such.

But Obama shied away from that description as president, mainly out of deference to Turkey.

Turkey is a key U.S. partner and NATO ally that fiercely opposes the "genocide" label.