US Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch will visit the Armenian communities of the United States this week, from June 19 to July 1. She has scheduled public events where she will make presentations and entertain questions from community members.
The community should not allow this unique opportunity to ask tough questions from the ambassador to pass, as we have been living through disappointment after disappointment, beginning with President Obama’s broken pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
This, coupled with the Obama administration’s proposed aid cut to Armenia and aid increase to Azerbaijan, the Millennium Challenge funding cut and last week’s revelation that the US supports the creation of a so-called historic commission to study the Genocide as a pre-condition to the “roadmap” process between Armenia and Turkey.
On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict front, the administration’s continued insistence to advance the talks on the basis of the principle of territorial integrity and not prioritizing the important and principle of self-determination also is a step back for the normalization of the peace process.
What is most disturbing in the recent manifestation of US policy is the continued pressuring of Armenia by the State Department to accept the Genocide denialist approaches of Turkey as it sets the course for normalization of relations.
One wonders what sets apart the Obama administration’s policies vis-à-vis Armenia from that of his predecessor.
Yovanovitch’s visit is a great opportunity to press the administration to veer from its thus far cookie-cutter responses to failing to adhere to campaign pledges and other promises. It is time for the representative of the United States in Armenia to provide convincing and truthful answers to myriad questions, among them a concise explanation for the US policy of strong-arming the Armenian government to abandon its national policies.
The urgency with which the US pursued the roadmap agreement and the rush by which it is attempting to frame the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are not beneficial scenarios for the Armenian people and potentially can endanger Armenia’s national security.
The Armenian-American community should send a clear message to the ambassador that we, as American citizens, are not only dissatisfied with the course of this administration has adopted, but are extremely disappointed as we believe that it hinders the US standing in a critical part of the world.
She will be speaking at a public forum at “Avedissian” Hall of the Ferrahian School (5300 White Oak Ave., Encino) on Friday, June 26, at 7:30 p.m. hosted by the Western Prelacy. We urge our community to come together that evening and send a strong message to Ambassador Yovanovitch.
Community meetings will be held in the following venues and are open to the general public:
Fri., June 19 at 7 p.m.
Armenian Cultural Foundation
441 Mystic Street, Arlington, MA 02474
Mon., June 22 at 7 p.m.
Diocese of the Armenian Church
Haik and Alice Kavookjian Hall
630 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Thurs., June 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Western Diocese of the Armenian Church
3325 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA 91504
Fri., June 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Avedissian Hall of the Ferrahian School
5300 White Oak Ave., Encino, CA 91316
Tues., June 30 at 12:30 p.m.
Library of Congress, Mumford Room
1st Street SE, Washington D.C. 20543