Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. Says “We will visit Artsakh”
YEREVAN–A bi-partisan delegation of Congressional Armenian Issues Caucus members, who are on a visit to Armenia, met with Artsakh President Bako Sahakian on Tuesday at the NKR Permanent Representation in Armenia’s capital to discuss issues related to Artsakh and the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
During the meeting, Sahakian emphasized the importance of US-Artsakh relations and briefed the visiting members of Congress on the latest developments with the Karabakh conflict resolution talks.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Sahakian presented representatives Frank Pallone, Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier with the Artsakh Presidential “Gratitude” medals for their contributions to the process to recognize Artsakh’s independence.
Joining Pallone, Eshoo and Speier in the CODEL are representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), David G. Valadao (R-Calif.) and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.).
Following the meeting, Pallone told reporters that Artsakh deserves international recognition
“We will do our best to push forward the process of Artsakh’s international recognition. One of our colleagues has already been to Artsakh and we will also visit,” said Pallone. “The meeting was very productive and we are grateful for receiving state awards.”
Pallone was referring to Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman David Valadao, who visited Artsakh and alongside government officials and ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian reviewed the life-saving de-mining activities of the HALO Trust.
Earlier, the CODEL met with Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan who expressed his gratitude for the efforts undertaken by the US lawmakers to strengthen US-Armenia relations in various fields.
Karapetyan discussed issues related to bilateral economic cooperation between Armenia and the US, such as economic investments, cooperation with in information technologies, implementation of a number of bilateral business projects, as well as the signing of a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and a treaty on eliminating double-taxation.
On Monday, the first day of the official visit, the delegation, also held meetings with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia Ara Babloyan and the heads of standing committees, as well as the head of the US-Armenia Friendship Group Arpine Hovhannisyan.
“Many of us will not stop working toward this [recognition of the Armenian Genocide] and we will continue our efforts so that the US will join the countries representing the international community that have already recognized the Armenian Genocide,” said Eshoo when a member of the Armenian Parliament raised the issue.
“I think that our visit is correspondent to our future and the Armenian-American partnership, which includes the strengthening of economic ties,” said Eshoo. “This is not only in the interests of Armenia and Armenians, but also the US.”
Eshoo also discussed the concerning developments over the so-called “Azerbaijani Laundromat,” an almost $3 billion slush fund set up by Azerbaijan to buy favors and influence from European lawmakers.
“Since this is all this is quite intricate, it’s important that we examine it,” said Eshoo. “We consider this as an important issue from the perspective of US national interests.”
The Head of the Armenian National Assembly’s Republican Party Faction Vahram Baghdasaryan, the Head of the Yelk Faction Nikol Pashinyan, ARF Parliamentary Faction Secretary Aghvan Vardanyan, the Secretary of the Tsarukyan Faction Vahe Enfiajyan and the member of the Faction Vardevan Grigoryan, as well as the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Richard Mills and Armenia’s Ambassador to the U.S., Grigor Hovhannisyan participated in the meeting as well.