WASHINGTON–DC–California Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) joined with five of her Senate colleagues in encouraging President Bush to renew his call for Turkey to immediately lift its decade-long blockade of Armenia–reported the Armenian National Committee Of America (ANCA). The letter was sent in anticipation of this week’s meeting at the White House between President Bush and visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Senate letter to President Bush reads–in part: "Last year a State Department report estimated that the blockade is inflating Armenia’s transportation costs by 30-35 percent–thereby stifling its trade and economy." The Senators closed their letter by stressing–"If there is to be a resolution of conflicts in the region and a reduction of tensions along borders–it is essential that Turkey move forthwith to lift this destructive blockade."
In addition to Senator Boxer–the letter was co-signed by Senator John Kerry (D-MA)–a leading Democratic presidential candidate–George Allen (R-VA)–Jon Corzine (D-NJ)–Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)–and Russell Feingold (D-WI). A similar letter was initiated on the House side last week by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone and Joe Knollenberg.