Los Angeles, CA – On November 20, 2007, the Board of Directors of the Armenian National Committee – Western Region (ANC-WR) met with His Excellency, President Bako Sahakyan of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). President Sahakyan is visiting the United States in preparation for the ArmeniaFund Telethon which will take place on Thursday, November 22, 2007, Thanksgiving Day.
“We were pleased to welcome President Sahakyan to our office today to discuss important issues facing Artsakh,” stated ANC-WR Board Member Zanku Armenian. “Our work in raising awareness of Artsakh’s successes and challenges in decision-making circles in Washington, DC is a vital part of our work. We look forward to encouraging the U.S. Congress to allocate humanitarian and development funds that will help the citizens of Artsakh to further strengthen their communities, economy and society,” he added.
During his visit to the ANC-WR, President Sahakyan was provided an update of the organization’s activities related to raising awareness of issues pertaining to NKR. This briefing focused on 1) recent efforts to urge the U.S. State Department to correct the inaccurate language incorporated into the 2006 human rights report that referred to Armenia as an occupying power in NKR, 2) helping to secure continued and direct aid to NKR in the Fiscal Year 2008 Foreign Aid Bill in the United States Congress, 3) working to help lift the barriers imposed on NKR through public health, democracy-building and market reform efforts, and 4) the importance of passing H. Res. 106 (the Armenian Genocide Resolution) for Armenians around the world.
In what foreign observers and journalists considered a landmark improvement in transparency and voter participation in NKR’s presidential elections, the people of NKR elected Bako Sahakyan as their third president in 2007. Sahakyan was born in Stepanakert on August 30, 1960. He is a graduate of the Department of Law at Artsakh State University and is a member of the Academy on Security, Defense and Legality. From 1978-1980 he served in the Soviet Army and then worked as an engineer in NKR. Sahakyan assisted in the Artsakh Movement begun in 1988 and served as Assistant to the Republic of Armenia’s Minister for Home Affairs and National Security from 1997-1999. From 1999-2001 Sahakyan served as the NKR Minister of Home Affairs and became Director of NKR’s National Security in 2001.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Caption #1: ANC-WR Board Members discuss recent community efforts to raise awareness of issues related to NKR with President Bako Sahakyan, NKR Permanent Representative to the United States Vardan Barseghian and ARF Bureau Representative Viken Hovsepian.
Photo Caption #2: President Bako Sahakyan (center) joined by (from left to right) ANC-WR Community Relations Director Haig Hovsepian, ANC-WR Programs Coordinator Teresa Petrosyan, ANC-WR Board Members Peter Musurlian, Aida Dimejian, Zanku Armenian, Raffi Hamparian, Souzi Zerounian-Khanzadian, Avo Ovayan, Pattyl Aposhian-Kasparian, Leonard Manoukian and ANC-WR Executive Director Antranig Kzirian.