For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
ARMENIAN CAUCUS AGAINST PROTOCOLS’ HISTORICAL COMMISSION
Urge Secretary Clinton to End Exclusion of Armenian American Community; Prevent “Turkish Bullying of our Armenian Ally”
WASHINGTON, DC – On the eve of the signing of the Turkey-Armenia protocols, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by lead Armenian Genocide Resolution sponsors Adam Schiff (D-CA) and George Radanovich (R-CA) in expressing concerns about a provision in the agreements that the Turkish government is already using to call into question the truth of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
”As leaders of the Armenia Caucus in the House of Representatives, we share the concern of the Armenian-American community regarding the possibility of creating a historical commission to review the events of 1915 to 1923. This is a thoroughly discredited idea,” noted the legislators in joint statement. “Turkey cannot be allowed to re-invent this tragic part of its history as a price for normal relations with Armenia. To do so means acquiescence in a charade that demeans the memory of so many victims.”
The statement went on to urge the Obama Administration to include the Armenian American community in the Turkey-Armenia negotiation efforts. “As Secretary of State Clinton and other senior officials work to maintain stability in the region, we urge them to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise of the Armenian-American community, which maintains strong ties to Armenia and is an invaluable source of information and counsel,” stated the legislators.
U.S. Department of Justice records show that Secretary of State Clinton, National Security Advisor Jones and other Administration officials have spoken repeatedly with Turkey’s paid foreign agents, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former House Minority leader Dick Gephardt, but have not agreed to meet with ANCA representatives, despite repeated requests.
The Congressional Caucus leaders also cited the stark difference “in economic, military and diplomatic power between Turkey and Armenia,” and urged the Administration to, “work to ensure that our diplomatic efforts serve to end the Turkish blockade of Armenia, without Turkish bullying of our Armenian ally into unwarranted concessions or a whitewash of one of history’s true horrors.”