RIDGEFIELD–NJ–Armenian National Committee activists met with Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ Sixth District) on August 7 at his Monmouth District office in Long Branch–NJ to discuss issues of concern to Armenian-Americans. The delegation members included Aram Adishian–Chairman of the ANC of NJ–Kim Arzoumanian of the ANC of NJ–and Robert Setrakian of the ANC of NY.
The ANC representatives began by thanking Pallone for his ongoing support of Armenian-American issues–especially noting his leadership and assistance during the recent foreign appropriations process.
Prompted by widespread concern within the community–the ANC delegation expressed deep reservations about the recently announced Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission–and questioned whether it would undermine efforts to obtain recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Congressman Pallone understood the concerns and reassured the group that "the existence of such a commission does not lessen our determination to actively press for Genocide recognition."
The meeting also discussed the recent cuts in US aid to Armenia in the House of Representatives’ Foreign Aid Appropriations Bill. Congressman Pallone is optimistic that the full $90 million in aid that Armenia received last year will be restored when the House and Senate bills are reconciled–and stated that the Caucus on Armenian Issues would be vigilant in attempting to maintain future aid levels. Also discussed in the hour-long meeting were the improved political climate in Armenia and concerns about the pending Nagorno-Karabagh negotiations.
ANC of NJ Chairman Aram Adishian praised the Congressman–"The Armenian-American community is very grateful to Congressman Pallone–not only for his dedicated work with the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues–but also for truly listening to the concerns that Armenian-Americans bring to his attention."
For decades–the Armenian National Committee has pursued the Armenian Cause through a wide variety of efforts–both here and abroad. These efforts today include governmental lobbying–coalition building–academic work–human rights advocacy–media relations–as well as promotion of public awareness.