YEREVAN (Fact)–Armenia’s Prime Minister Robert Kocharian met with visiting Congressman George Radanovich (R-Calif.) 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.
Radanovich explained that every year the US allocated $25 million to Turkey–$3 million of which was being used by Turkey to alter historical truths and falsify the reality of the Armenian Genocide.
He added that this year–Congress–through a resolution–withheld the $3 million and preconditioned that assistance to Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
In reference to that legislation–known as the Radanovich-Bonior Amendment–the Congressman explained that Turkey had refused the remaining $22 million based on which Radanovich had introduced a resolution calling for the allocation of that $22 million to Armenia for agricultural reform.
Radanovich also advocated for peace in the Caucasus–but said that peace would be possible only when nations lived up to their past mistakes–citing Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide as an example.
Armenia’s should not demand just peace but they should also press for justice–said Radanovich.
Radanovich also discussed his earlier meeting with Prime Minister Kocharian–where the national security of Armenia and Karabakh were discussed. He also reported that he and the prime minister addressed the pending $150 million in US assistance to Armenia.
Radanovich said that the electoral and voting procedures were also discussed–and he expressed his firm belief that fair and free elections should take place in Armenia.
The Fresno Congressman’said that he believed it was based on that same principle that the president and the parliament should be elected.
Radanovich also advocated for Karabakh’s right to self-determination and called for the recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
He is scheduled to travel to Karabakh Friday.