WASHINGTON–U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), co-chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, Wednesday announced U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) as the incoming co-chairman of the Caucus in the 111th Congress. Kirk will succeed Knollenberg as co-chairman and will serve with Pallone in that capacity.
Kirk, who represents the 10th District of Illinois, is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and sits on the State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee. As a Naval Reserve intelligence officer, Kirk has served tours of duty in Iraq, Haiti and Bosnia.
"I am proud of the work Joe Knollenberg and I have done during our eight years as co-chairmen of the Caucus on Armenian Issues, and I look forward to building on those successes and continuing to work in a bipartisan fashion with Mark Kirk," Pallone said.
"As an active member on the foreign affairs subcommittee, Congressman Kirk will bring a great deal of knowledge and leadership to his role as co-chairman and will be an asset in working to advance the goals of the Caucus,” he said. “In the 111th Congress, the Caucus will continue to advocate for peace and stability in Nagorno Karabakh, recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Armenia’s economic integration in the Caucasus."
"I am delighted that Congressman Kirk has agreed to be the new Caucus Co-Chair," Knollenberg said. "He’s a highly talented leader with a record of success. It has been an honor to serve as Caucus Co-Chair and I couldn’t have asked for a better ally than Frank Pallone. The Caucus is lucky to have such strong leadership in these two individuals."
"After 20 years of working with the Armenian-American community to advance the U.S.-Armenia issues, I am honored and excited to serve alongside Congressman Pallone as co-chair of the Caucus on Armenian Issues," Kirk said. "The Caucus on Armenian Issues is well-known for its work to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia relationship and recognize the Armenian Genocide. I look forward to working with Congressman Pallone and all members of the Caucus to advance the U.S.-Armenia relationship in the 111th Congress."