Hamparian Outlines ANCA’s Priorities for the Next Two Years in Armenian Weekly Exclusive

ANCA Executive Director: ‘Congress is Back in Session, and That Means the ANCA is Back at Work’

WASHINGTON (A.W.)—Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian outlined the organization’s key advocacy priorities for the next two years, as the United States Congress began its new session on Jan. 3.

“Congress is back in session, and that means the ANCA is back at work,” Hamparian told the Armenian Weekly in a short video interview, in which he outlined key ANCA advocacy priorities. “We have a robust legislative agenda, all aligned with the ANCA’s core mission: the North Star of the Armenian Cause – the security, viability, and prosperity of the Armenian nation,” Hamparian said.
Hamparian called for a break with decades of Executive and Legislative branch complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, paving the way for U.S. policy that reaffirms the record of U.S. recognition – including President Reagan’s 1981 proclamation; presses Turkey to abandon its denial of truth and end its obstruction of justice; and promotes security and economic viability for Armenia, and creates the conditions for improved Armenian-Turkish relations, based upon a just and comprehensive international resolution of the still unpunished crime.
Hamparian went on to outline the ANCA’s plans to support peace for the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karanagh/NKR) Republic. “Obviously, Artsakh will be a very high priority for our community,” Hamparian said, explaining that strengthening the 1994 ceasefire will help foster a conducive environment for a durable and democratic international settlement of security and status issues related to the Artsakh Republic.
Hamparian explained that the ANCA will press for the timely implementation of the Royce-Engel pro-peace proposals, which are endorsed by the U.S., Organization for Security and cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Artsakh, and Armenia, but opposed by Azerbaijan. The bipartisan package calls for: non-deployment of snipers and heavy arms near line-of-contact; the addition of OSCE observers along the line-of-contact; and the deployment of gunfire locators along the line-of-contact.
“In terms of the region, we’re also going to focus on the U.S.-Turkey relationship; there needs to be a careful and close review of that process,” Hamparian said, explaining that there must be a fundamental reassessment of U.S. military and political relations with an increasingly unstable Turkish government. “Why, for example, are U.S. nuclear weapons still positioned in such a hostile, unstable, and often unfriendly nation. We need to take a careful look at that,” Hamparian said.
Hamparian then outlined the ANCA’s foreign aid priorities. The ANCA will be working with appropriators to advance a broad array of Fiscal Year 2018 foreign aid priorities, including at least $5 million in Artsakh aid for HALO Trust de-mining & Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center; targeted U.S. aid to help Armenia transition Syrian Armenians and other at-risk minorities; and at least $40 million in economic and technical assistance to Armenia.
“We are going to focus on those aid programs, but also move forward with our Aid to Trade transition by focusing on economic development that promote growth, hope, and opportunity in Armenia,” said Hamparian. The ANCA will support Armenia’s economic development and international integration by securing a tax treaty eliminating the threat of double taxation of firms operating in both jurisdictions’ pushing for a new Millennium Challenge Account compact with Armenia that funds STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education; and lobbying for the launch of direct flights from Los Angeles to Yerevan flights, connecting two centers of the Armenian world.
At the conclusion of the interview, Hamparian urged the Armenian-American community to reach out to their Members of Congress in support of the Armenian Caucus. “The Armenian Caucus, operating on a bipartisan basis, is going to be foundation of so much we are going to accomplish in these next two years,” he said, calling on community members to visit anca.org/joincaucus to contact their Members of Congress.  

Rupen Janbazian

Rupen Janbazian is the former editor of The Armenian Weekly. He is currently based in Yerevan, where he serves as the director of public relations of the Tufenkian Foundation.
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  1. These are good priorities. Thanks to the ANCA and Armenian Weekly and best wishes for great progress in 2017.

    I want to mention that Donald Trump has recently sold his hotel investments in Georgia and Azerbaijan. That is a good thing.
    But why did he invest there in the first place?
    I suspect that someone advised him to.
    That brings to mind his son-in-law and advisor: Jared Kushner.
    His background raises certain questions about what sort of advice he will be giving Trump about the 3 nations of the Caucasus, especially because the Kushner family is a huge supporter of Israel, which is in turn a huge supporter of Azerbaijan.
    Let us keep an eye on Kushner and Trump’s other appointees please.

  2. Aram has done a great job this past year, and has articulated bold priorities for the next two years (i.e., the 115th Congress). I thank ANCA and ANCA supporters for their on-line campaign to get my book, Truth Held Hostage, into the hands of Executive Branch personnel. I wrote the book in part for this purpose, to explain for fellow non-Armenians what the issue of the Genocide is all about and why it matters. I”m happy when Armenian-Americans buy it, but even happier when it gets into the hands of those many folks who know nothing about Armenia, Armenians, and the Genocide — folks who are like I was before I got to know Armenia and you all!

  3. Recognizing the Genocide would be the moral and principled action to take. Sadly, George-political realities often come before moral actions in every nation.

    However, as Armenia willingly draws closer to and enters the Russian orbit, I see no reason to increase American tax payer dollars to Armenia. Humanitarian aid should be our only aid,

  4. Aram has an astute political mind. I would be grateful for his (and any readers’) thoughts on the following strategy: try to frame denial of the Armenian Genocide as just another type of Political Correctness. Just like President Obama wouldn’t say “Radical Islamic Terrorism” in order to avoid offending Muslims, he also wouldn’t say “Armenian Genocide” in order to avoid offending a Muslim leader. President-Elect Trump got elected on pledges to do away with Political Correctness and to always tell the truth, regardless of who gets offended. What better way to do that than to speak honestly about what occurred in 1915?

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