WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian issued the following statement outlining the expectations of the Armenian American community regarding Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s upcoming trip to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia starting on July 4th.
“Secretary of State Clinton’s visit represents an opportunity to reset America’s failing policies toward Armenia and the region, through concrete measures supporting a real Turkey-Armenia dialogue based on truth and justice; a Nagorno Karabagh settlement based on democracy and self-governance; and expanded U.S.-Armenia relations featuring robust trade and investment.”
“Ankara doomed the U.S.-backed Turkey-Armenia Protocols from the start by openly manipulating these accords both to ensure continued U.S. complicity in its Armenian Genocide denials and to impose new preconditions on Armenia to satisfy Azerbaijan’s demands.”
“While in Armenia, Secretary Clinton can jump-start prospects for true Armenia-Turkey progress by honoring her own promise to American voters – and the pledge made by President Obama – to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. Durable peace between these two nations must be built upon truth and justice, not foreign government pressure.”
“There would be no better place for Secretary Clinton to explicitly offer America’s condemnation of this terrible crime, and end years of shameful U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denials, than at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan. Should the Secretary choose to avoid the Memorial, due to concerns about Turkey’s response, she will, sadly, have dug the Obama Administration into an even deeper hole of genocide denial. This is the Administration’s chance to reverse its morally bankrupt policy of allowing Turkey to impose its gag rule on American recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”
“Today, a year and a half into this Administration, we remain deeply troubled, that, despite the President’s campaign assurances and America’s core commitment to democratic self-governance, the President and Secretary continue arm-twisting the Armenian side to accept an unfair and dangerous settlement based on principles that, if they were in force in 1776, would have kept the American colonies within the British Empire.”
“The Secretary’s visit provides a great opportunity to get things right by openly staking out a strong U.S. stand for a Nagorno Karabagh settlement based on the core American principles of democracy and self-governance.”
“Despite the unprecedented flexibility shown by the Armenian Government – on issues ranging from the Protocols and the Karabagh talks to Armenian military deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo – we have seen no movement by President Obama, despite his unambiguous promise to the contrary, in terms of honoring his pledge to maintain aid and expand trade with Armenia.”
“The Secretary’s visit represents an opportunity to announce that, as a short-term goal, she is personally initiating talks to put in place a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and that, over the longer term, the Administration is committed to a U.S.-Armenia Free Trade Agreement.”
For more information, or to schedule an interview with ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian, please contact Elizabeth Chouldjian at (703) 585-8254 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.