WASHINGTON, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) led a two hour hearing today that included over a dozen members of Congress questioning Assistant Secretary Dan Fried on the U.S. policy of complicity in Armenian Genocide denial, Turkey’s blockade, and Azerbaijan’s escalating threats of war, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We want to thank Chairman Berman for this excellent opportunity for members of the Foreign Affairs Committee to exercise oversight over a deeply flawed set of U.S. policies toward Armenia and Armenian American issues – most notably the Administration’s policy of complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, its lack of any meaningful steps to lift Turkey’s blockade of Armenia, and its effective silence in the face of escalating threats of war by an increasingly well armed Azerbaijan against the people of Nagorno Karabagh.”
Berman opened the hearing stating, “I’d like to start with one of the most puzzling and problematic matters: the Turkish blockade of Armenia, in place since 1993. It’s a punishing policy that holds the Armenian economy back and enormously increases the cost of much of Armenia’s trade with other nations.” He continued noting that “It’s baffling why Ankara would want to pursue this land blockade, which also harms the economy of eastern Turkey, and is therefore clearly contrary to its own interests.”
The Chairman’s statement and questions were followed by powerful remarks and in-depth inquiries by Armenian Genocide Resolution lead author Adam Schiff (D-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) as well as Committee members Brad Sherman (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Jim Costa (D-CA), among others.
Complete coverage of the hearing to follow.