August 23, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) welcomed Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s announcement of longtime Armenian American issues supporter, Sen. Joe Biden as his choice for Vice-President. Sen. Biden, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has been an outspoken advocate of U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide and brings the principled international leadership needed to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

“As we stated back in January, Armenian Americans, a community that is deeply committed to a moral U.S. foreign policy and constructive American engagement abroad, respect Senator Biden’s leadership and, today, we welcome his addition to the Democratic ticket,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

Elected to office in 1972, Senator Biden has been a voice of moral clarity on issues of concern to the Armenian American community including:

* Support for 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.

* A perennial supporter of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, adopted in 1992, which restricted U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan due to its ongoing blockades of Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.

* In May, 2007, 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.” Senator Biden has been cosponsor of every resolution reaffirming the Armenian Genocide introduced in the Senate over the past 20 years.

* 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 in 2007, 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 (S.Res.65), 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 July, 2008, Sen. Biden reiterated his commitment to securing U.S. and Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide in connection with the nomination of U.S. Ambassador to Armenian Marie Yovanovitch. “Recognition by the United States of the Armenian Genocide is not the final goal. The real goal is the recognition of Turkey – of the Turkish Government – of the Armenian Genocide and the establishment of a common Turkish-Armenian understanding of the events and tragedy that took place,” stated Sen. Biden.

The ANCA endorsed Senator Obama in the Democratic primaries and will announce its general election endorsement decision following the Democratic and Republican primaries. The ANC of Iowa had endorsed Sen. Joe Biden in his presidential election bid prior to the Iowa primary earlier this year.

Sen. Biden’s Support on Armenian American Issues
ANCA Press Releases 2000 to Present

June 19, 2001 Turkish Diplomats Express Fear Over Senator Biden’s Chairmanship of Foreign Relations Committee
August 19, 2001 Senators Biden and Sarbanes Set to Oppose Attack Helicopter Deal with Turkey
October 15, 2002 ANCA ER Releases Congressional Endorsements for 2002 General Election
June 10, 2003 Resolution Marking Anniversary of Genocide Convention, Recognizing Armenian Genocide Introduced in U.S. Senate
April 18, 2005 Record Number of Senators Call on President Bush to Properly Characterize Armenian Genocide
January 20, 2006 Sen. Joe Biden – Ranking Member on Foreign Relations Committee – Cosponsors Armenian Genocide Resolution
June 28, 2006 Senate Panel Presses Proposed U.S. Envoy for Clear Explanation of U.S Policy on the Armenian Genocide
July 24, 2006 State Department Misled Senate on Turkish Communications About Amb. Evans
August 1, 2006 Sen. Biden Delays Senate Foreign Relations Committee Vote on Hoagland Nomination
March 2, 2007 Senate Panel to Consider Legislation Condemning Murder of Hrant Dink
March 28, 2007 Senate Panel Adopts Biden Resolution Honoring Hrant Dink
January 2, 2008 ANC-Iowa Endorses Biden In Democratic Caucus
January 23, 2008 Joe Biden Cosponsors Armenian Genocide Resolution
April 28, 2008 His Eminence Oshagan Choloyan Urges Vigilance Against Genocide In Capitol Hill Meetings
July 29, 2008 Senators Biden, Boxer, Menendez Force Bush Administration to Distance U.S. from Turkey’s Genocide Denial Policy
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 * Email.anca@anca.org
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