Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) – founding Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus – introduced a bipartisan resolution today welcoming Armenia’s 2018 peaceful political transition, praising the U.S.-Armenia “strategic partnership,” and calling for upgraded bilateral cooperation on political, economic, military, and development challenges, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Rep. Pallone was joined by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Vice-Chairs Peter King (R-NY) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) in spearheading the measure.
“We join with Armenians across the United States in thanking Congressman Pallone and his colleagues in the leadership of the Congressional Armenian Caucus for introducing this forward-looking legislation – aimed at further strengthening the U.S.-Armenia bilateral partnership and further reinforcing the enduring friendship of the American and Armenian peoples,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “This measure both reflects and reinforces the growing strategic partnership between the United States and Armenia – rooted in shared values, driven by common interests, and sustained by robust civic engagement by Americans of Armenian heritage.”
“Over the past year, Armenia has been transformed through the organic, grassroots movement that led to the nonviolent ‘Velvet Revolution’ and free and open national elections in December. These momentous events are a testament to the Armenian people’s commitment to democracy and show why it is so important for the United States to elevate our engagement with the Pashinyan government,” Congressman Pallone said. “Armenia is at a critical moment where U.S. support can help foster the growth of pro-democratic and civil society institutions. I am hopeful that this resolution is the beginning of a broad-based strategic upgrade of the U.S.-Armenia partnership based upon our shared interests and common values. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and with House Leadership to pass this important bipartisan legislation. Additionally, I will continue to work with my colleagues toward official U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”
The resolution references the genesis of formal U.S.-Armenia diplomatic ties, noting that: “the United States formally recognized the independence of the Republic of Armenia almost a century ago on April 23, 1920, through a letter from Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby to the Representative of the Armenian Republic, Garegin Pasdermadjian, informing him of President Woodrow Wilson’s decision.”
Also cited is the 1994 regional “ceasefire agreement signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno Karabakh,” within the context of Armenia’s continued constructive engagement in the OSCE Minsk Group process, co-chaired by the United States. This measure praises: “the longstanding friendship of the American and Armenian peoples, reinforced during decades of principled United States leadership for Armenian independence from Soviet tyranny, and expanded, in the years since Armenia’s reborn independence,” adding: “almost a century after the United States first formally recognized the independence of the Republic of Armenia the bilateral political, economic, and strategic partnership between the two countries continues to flourish.”
The Caucus leadership also note, in this resolution, that: “Armenia’s aid-to-trade transition requires continued United States leadership on trade and investment promotion, upgraded engagement through the Economic Task Force and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council, and the exploration of mutually beneficial economic accords,” a reference to bilateral discussions around a new U.S.-Armenia Tax Treaty and Social Security Totalization Agreement.