WASHINGTON–During a reception Thursday honoring Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ)–Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. Armenian Ambassador to the US–Dr. Arman Kirakossian–Nagorno Karabakh Republic Foreign Minister Naira Melkoumian–Representative Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD)–Ambassador Michael Lemmon–Dean of the Foreign Service Institute and the former US Ambassador to Armenia–as well as prominent representatives of the Armenian Assembly of America and the Armenian National Committee of America were among the guests who gathered to pay tribute to Congressman Pallone for his relentless efforts and activities on behalf of the Armenian issues.
During the ceremony–Ambassador Kirakossian presented to Rep. Frank Pallone the Order of Mkhitar Gosh–awarded to him by Armenian President Robert Kocharian for "outstanding contribution to the development and strengthening of the amicable relations between the United States and the Republic of Armenia." The Order of Mkhitar Gosh is named for a noted twelfth-century noted Armenian priest–writer–and a codifier of the Armenian civil and canon laws. In awarding this Order to him–the Armenian President acknowledged Representative Pallone’s contributions to the US legislation concerning Armenia in the past ten years have had a lasting effect on Armenia.
In his address–Ambassador Kirakossian expressed Armenia’s deepest appreciation for the invaluable assistance and generous support rendered by the United States people and their elected representatives in the Congress during the devastating earthquake in 1988 and since regaining independence in 1991.
"The success of the US assistance programs in Armenia has been made by many individuals–but I want to single out Representative Pallone for his outstanding leadership on the US-Armenian bilateral relations," said the Ambassador–citing Rep. Pallone for his integrity and professionalism–strong environmental credentials and international outlook.
In his remarks Congressman Pallone thanked the Armenian Government for the high award and said that–with the continuing strong support of the American Armenian community–the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues would further pursue the goal of enhancing US-Armenian relations and promoting the Caucus’ congressional agenda that includes the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict–Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act–genocide recognition–and regional cooperation in the South Caucasus.