Cites Advocacy for Armenian American issues; Support for U.S. Moral Leadership Abroad

January 2, 2008

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman and Presidential Candidate Joe Biden with ANCA Government and Legislative Affairs Directors Kate Nahapetian and Raffi KarakashianWASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of Iowa (ANC-Iowa) today endorsed Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), a highly respected legislator with a 35 year track record and the current Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, as the Democratic candidate best positioned to provide America with the principled international leadership she needs to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Commenting on ANC-Iowa’s endorsement, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian said: “As a community deeply committed to a moral U.S. foreign policy and constructive American engagement abroad, Senator Biden – a longtime advocate of Armenian American issues – clearly stands out for us as a strong leader ready, from day one, to advance our interests and values around the world.”

Additional state-level endorsements in both the Republican and Democratic primaries – will be forthcoming, with the ANCA national endorsements set to be announced prior to “Tsunami Tuesday” on February 5th. Among the states voting that day will be many with sizable Armenian American communities, among them California, New Jersey, Illinois, and New York. Throughout this process, the ANCA- at the national and state levels – will remain actively engaged in discussions with the evolving field of candidates in both parties.

In making its endorsement, ANC-Iowa highlighted several key aspects of Senator Biden’s record:

* Thirty-five years of experience in the U.S. Senate, extensive knowledge of foreign relations, and proven leadership on the full range of international challenges facing our nation.

* Support for Armenian American legislative initiatives, including U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide, dating back to his work with Senator Bob Dole to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.J.Res.212) in 1990, and stronger U.S.-Armenia relations.

* As recently as last May, Senator Biden, in response to a question from the Los Angeles Times editorial board about the Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.Res.106), said: “I support it, and the reason is simple: I have found in my experience that you cannot have a solid relationship with a country based on fiction. It occurred. It occurred.”

* In connection with his leadership in pressing the Administration to explain its firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, and the controversy over the
subsequent nomination of Dick Hoagland, Senator Biden secured from the Administration a number of commitments, among them that:

— The next U.S. Ambassador to Armenia will meet extensively with representatives of the Armenian American community before and during their tenure in Yerevan.

— The State Department will brief Members of Congress on its efforts to promote Turkish recognition of the real history of the Armenian Genocide.

— U.S. ambassadors to Yerevan and Ankara would exchange visits for the purpose of ending Turkey’s economic blockade of Armenia.

* He authored a resolution, which was adopted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by unanimous consent, to honor journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in Turkey last year for writing about the Armenian Genocide.

In endorsing Sen. Joe Biden, the ANC-Iowa noted that the Senator is the best choice, but certainly not the only friend, among the Democratic candidates. Others, among them former Senator John Edwards (D-NC); sitting Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL); and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson have, each in their own way, supported U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and other issues of concern to the Armenian American community. Several Republican candidates, among them Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter, and Mike Huckabee, are on record, to varying degrees, supporting Armenian American issues.

While Senator Biden’s standing in the polls has yet to reflect the high regard in which he is held by his Senate colleagues and the public at large, ANC-Iowa is committed to helping him deliver strong results in the Iowa Caucus that will help catalyze increased nationwide support for this candidacy.

The Armenian American vote:

Armenian Americans represent a motivated and highly networked constituency of one and a half million citizens, with a meaningful presence in both key primary states, such as New Hampshire and California, and in competitive general election battlegrounds, including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

While Armenian American voters are well represented in both the Democratic and Republican parties and across the political spectrum, they have consistently demonstrated a willingness to cross party lines to vote for candidates who have supported issues of special concern to the community.

Contact information:

Armenian Americans interested in helping Joe Biden can contact his campaign directly:

Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
Biden for President, Inc.
P.O. Box 438
Wilmington, DE 19899
Tel: (302) 574-2008

As always, the ANCA welcomes feedback on its service to the Armenian American community. Please forward your thoughts and suggestions about this decision, or any others, by email to


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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