Artsakh Parliamentarian Briefs U.S. Legislators on Azerbaijani Aggression

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MP Lernik Hovhannisyan Conducts Meetings across Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON—Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (Artsakh/NKR) parliamentarian Lernik Hovhannisyan briefed Members of Congress and their senior aides regarding Azerbaijan’s recent escalation of violence against Artsakh and Armenia, during a full day of meetings on Capitol Hill on June 7.

Hovhannisyan (left) discussing Nagorno-Karabagh with Rep. David Cicilline (Photo: ANCA)

During meetings with Foreign Affairs Committee member Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Energy and Commerce Committee member Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), and Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Robert Dold (R-Ill.), Hovannisyan shared information and insights about the Azerbaijan’s April 2 offensive, and the dangers that Baku’s belligerence represents to the security of Nagorno-Karabagh and the stability of the region. Among the specific issues discussed during his consultations were the implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals; the dangers of continued U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan; the value of Leahy Law investigations of Baku’s war crimes during the April 2 offensive; and the importance of U.S. aid programs for NKR.

Hovhannisyan (center), with Rep. Anna Eshoo, Raffi Karakashian (left), and Armen Sahakyan (right) (Photo: ANCA)

Hovhannisyan also held detailed consultations with senior foreign policy aides to Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), who serves on the Appropriations Committee; Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.); Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who serves on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees; Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who chairs the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who serves as Ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee; and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Hovhannisyan was joined by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region’s Armen Sahakyan and Raffi Karakashian, the ANCA’s Legislative Affairs Director.

Hovhannisyan (left) with Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Robert Dold (Photo: ANCA)

Hovhannisyan traveled to Washington as part of an educational tour of Eastern U.S. cities organized by the Artsakh Fund of the Eastern U.S. and the Hairenik Association to share timely information with American stakeholders regarding regional developments. He was born in the Karintak village in Shoushi in 1973. After studying at the local secondary school, he continued his studies at the Khrimian Hayrik School and graduated from the Yerevan State University’s History Department in 1996. He served in the 52nd battalion of the NKR Defense Army. In 2000, he completed his postgraduate studies at the Artsakh State University, and worked at the university’s Department of History as senior lecturer on Ethnography and Armenian History from 1999 to 2003.

Hovhannisyan (center), with Ani Toumajan, aide to Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone, Armen Sahakyan (left), and Raffi Karakashian (right), in front of the U.S. Capitol (Photo: ANCA)

In 2013, Hovhannisyan was appointed Nagorno-Karabagh’s Deputy Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs and was elected to Parliament in 2015 as a member of the parliamentary faction of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). Since being elected, he has served as deputy chair of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Defense, National Security, and Law Enforcement. Affairs Hovhannisyan, the author of ten scientific papers and illustrator of eight maps, currently runs Artsakh Public Television’s “Mer Yerkir” series. He is married and has three children.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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