WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s meeting with Armenian American groups, scheduled for February 9 has been postponed, with the State Department citing the snow storm that blasted the nation’s capital as the primary reason. More than 20 inches of snow fell on Washington over the weekend, closing down the federal government on Monday. No new meeting date has been announced as of yet.
The delay provides the State Department an opportunity to reconsider its initial invitation list for the meeting, which was widely criticized as both unbalanced and biased toward the leadership of the few groups that support the controversial Turkey-Armenia protocols, an initiative condemned by a clear majority of Armenian Americans.
Soon after being invited to the February 9 meeting, and learning of the unfair composition of the proposed Armenian-American delegation, Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian asked Secretary Clinton to reconsider the invitation list, which initially included only the Armenian Assembly of America, the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Armenian General Benevolent Union, Knights of Vartan, and the ANCA.
“Selectively choosing to meet with a few organizations, largely from one portion of [Armenian American leadership] group, particularly when these leaders represent a markedly minority viewpoint on the current course of U.S. diplomacy, serves neither the Administration’s aim of a frank, two-way communication, nor the community’s interest in seeing our collective viewpoint taken into account by our nation’s decision-makers,” explained Hachikian in the ANCA’s January 11 letter.
The ANCA has followed up on this letter by reaching out to both the State Department and to a broad range of Armenian American organizations.