YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Visiting Congressman George Radanovich (R-Calif.) met Wednesday with Armenia’s Agriculture Minister Vladimir Movsessian–where the representative discussed provisions contained in legislation which aims to divert a $22 million earmark for Turkey to Armenia’s agricultural needs.
Following the Congressional passage of the so-called Radanovich/Bonior Amendement–which cut $3 million from a $25 million economic assistance package to Turkey–and preconditioned Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide–Turkey rejected the remaining $22 million–thus prompting Radanovich to seek a diversion of those funds to Armenia’s agricultural sector.
During his meeting with Movsesian–Radanovich discussed a possible increase in US agricultural assistance to Armenia.
Movsesian commented on US generosity toward Armenia–and cited a recent shipment of 61,000 metric tons of wheat to Armenia as an example.
Movsesian specifically discussed Armenia’s grape and wine producing industries and commented on the Congressman’s own wine label "Radanovich" produced in California. At the conclusion of the meeting–Radanovich pledged his continued assistance to Armenia’s agricultural needs.
Later Radanovich was accompanied on a tour of Armenia’s Yeghvart winery where he was acquainted with Armenia’s wine industry and where the Congressman had the opportunity to sample some of the vintages from the winery.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Robert Kocharian met Radanovich Wednesday to evaluate economic conditions in Armenia and discuss US economic assistance to Armenia.
The prime minister’s press office reported that Kocharian thanked Radanovich for his efforts in Congress and provided a detailed briefing about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the peace talks which aim to bring a resolution to the nine-year-old conflict.
US assistance to Armenia–reforming electoral processes and changes in the judicial system of Armenia were also discussed by the two leaders.
Kocharian outlined that his main priority was the advancement of democracy in Armenia–which could create the needed climate for business development and foreign investment in Armenia.
Later that day–Radanovich visited the Dzidzernagabert where he laid a wreath at the Armenian Genocide monument.
He held a press conference at the adjacent Genocide Museum–where he stressed the importance of Genocide recognition by the international community and Turkey.
"The [US] House of Representatives must take such steps to encourage the international community–including Turkey–to recognize the Armenian Genocide," expressed Radanovich–explaining that such atrocities must never be committed.