Community Leaders Share ‘Protocol’ Concerns with Swiss Ambassador

WASHINGTON—On Sept. 29, a delegation of Armenian American leaders met with Switzerland’s Ambassador to the United States Urs Ziswiler to share the community’s concerns regarding the threats that the ongoing, Swiss-brokered Turkey-Armenia protocols pose to the rights, security, and dignity of the Armenian nation. The meeting, which took place at the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, D.C., provided a platform for an open exchange of views on this matter of pressing concern to Armenians in the United States and around the world.

Ambassador Ziswiler, a highly regarded diplomat with an outstanding record on humanitarian issues, has extensive experience dealing with a variety of Armenian issues dating back several decades, and possesses a strong understanding of the challenges facing Armenia and her diaspora.

Switzerland has a long history of friendship with the Armenian people, dating back to the far-reaching relief efforts during the genocide-era and continuing, more recently, in the form of laws both recognizing the Armenian Genocide and criminalizing the denial of this crime against humanity.

The Armenian American delegation was comprised of Hovsep Avakian and Hrair Baronian, representing the Central Committee of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) of the Eastern U.S., and Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

Last week, representatives of political parties, associations, and religious denominations visited the Armenian Embassy in Washington and met with Ambassador Tatoul Markarian to express their concerns on the protocols. The delegation included representatives from the Eastern and Western Prelacies of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, the Eparchy of the United States and Canada of the Armenian Catholic Church, the Mother See of the Armenian Evangelical Union of America, the ARF, the Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association, the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), and Homenetmen.

Earlier this month, the Armenian American community, led by the AYF, held a peaceful protest against the protocols at the Swiss Consulate in Los Angeles.

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