WASHINGTON—Five members of a visiting, multi-party Armenia-U.S. Parliamentary delegation took part today in a policy briefing at the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), kicking off a week-long series of meetings and events in Washington, D.C.
The Armenia-U.S. Parliamentary Delegation is headed by Arpine Hovhannisyan, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia and includes Parliamentarians Armen Ashotyan, Edmon Marukyan, Aghvan Vardanyan, and Naira Zohrabyan. Their visit is aimed at strengthening U.S.-Armenia political, economic and military relations, deepening the enduring friendship between the American and Armenian peoples, and encouraging continued constructive engagement by the United States on a range of regional development and conflict resolution priorities.
“We were pleased to host the Parliamentary delegation at our national headquarters today for a policy briefing at the start of what promises to be a very busy and productive week for them here in Washington, DC,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “As always, we value the opportunity to discuss our Armenian American policy priorities with legislative leaders from Armenia, to hear directly from them about their own hopes and aspiration, and to explore together how we can each contribute the continued growth of the U.S.-Armenia partnership.”
Hamparian and his colleagues offered the visiting legislators a 360-degree view of Armenian American advocacy priorities focusing on U.S.-Armenia relations, Artsakh, Armenian Genocide, the FY 2019 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill and ties with Turkey. An expanded outline of specific ANCA advocacy priorities is provided below.
Meanwhile, Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders continued to welcome Armenian Parliamentarians to Washington, DC on the eve of a Capitol Hill reception to be hosted in their honor on March 7.
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair David Valadao (R-Calif.) shared with the ANCA, “As Representative to a Congressional District with a significant population of Armenian-Americans, I am excited to welcome the Armenia Parliamentary Delegation to our Nation’s Capital. I appreciate their dedication to advancing relations between the United States and Armenia and look forward to continuing to strengthen ties between our great nations.”
“I’d like to welcome my friends from the Armenian Parliamentary delegation,” Congressional Armenian Caucus Vice-Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) told the ANCA. “We look forward to a productive discussion about how our two nations can advance our mutually beneficial interests.”
The Armenia-U.S. Parliamentary Delegation visit follows a Congressional Armenian Caucus visit to Armenia last year by Rep. Speier along with Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). Representatives Pallone, Valadao and Gabbard also visited the Republic of Artsakh, where they reviewed the U.S. funded demining work of The HALO Trust and offered remarks at the Artsakh Parliament in addition to visits with government leaders and various schools and historic sites.
ANCA360 | Armenia-US Parliamentary Delegation | March 2018
– Promoting high-level bilateral dialogue
– Upgrading bilateral defense relations
– Negotiating a pro-investment Double Tax Treaty
– Fully leveraging TIFA Council and the Economic Task Force
– Securing an MCC STEM education grant
– Promoting non-stop Los Angeles-Yerevan flights
– Promoting peace/stability, via implementation of Royce-Engel proposals
– Promoting dialogue, via Artsakh’s return to talks and the Travel and Communications Resolution
– Supporting Congressional and other U.S. travel to Artsakh
– Expanding state recognition of Artsakh (beyond CA, GA, HI, LA, MA ME, MI, RI)
– Seeking Azerbaijan sanctions and opposing the potential Iron Dome sale to Azerbaijan
– Oppose Azerbaijan’s candidacy for WTO membership
– Calling for honest/accurate April 24th Armenian Genocide statement by White House
– Seeking adoption of Congressional resolutions – H.Res.220, S.Res.136
– Seeking recognition by two remaining states – Alabama and Mississippi
Foreign aid: FY 2019 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
– Continuing direct aid to Artsakh (HALO Trust de-mining and Baroness Cox Rehabilitation Center)
– Increasing aid to Armenia (prioritizing trade/investment and military/economic ties)
– Expanding military aid to Armenia (focused on peace-keeping and capacity building)
– Cutting/suspending military aid to Azerbaijan (Section 907 of FREEDOM Support Act)
– Blocking F-35 and other arms sales/transfers
– Demanding application of CAATSA sanctions against Turkey over S-400 purchase
– Securing U.S. extradition request for Erdogan bodyguards over 5/16/17 attacks in DC
– Ending Turkey’s eligibility to export products to U.S. under duty-free GSP regime
– Calling for redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey