WASHINGTON, D.C. – On September 28, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) was honored to join Armenia’s 25th Independence Day celebration organized by the Embassy of Armenia to the United States under the auspices of the Armenia Fund. Over 400 guests attended the event at the Organization of American States, including Assembly Board Members Aram Gavoor and Annie Totah, Armenian-Turkish Parliamentarian Garo Paylan, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bridget Brink, OSCE Minsk Group U.S. Co-Chair Ambassador James Warlick, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, former Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, and Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.
Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannissian welcomed guests and spoke about the key role of those who paved the way for U.S.-Armenia relations. He said that the U.S. became a strong ally shortly after independence, and was instrumental in supporting economic reforms and building democratic institutions. Ambassador Hovhannissian also recognized the Armenian-American community and its strong and growing bonds with the homeland. In closing, Ambassador Hovhannissian acclaimed: “Long live Armenia; long live the U.S.; and long live the Armenia-U.S. relationship.”
Armenia Fund President Maria Mehranian served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, with special remarks from Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Jackie Speier (D-CA), as well as Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA).
On behalf of the Armenian Caucus, Rep. Pallone thanked the Armenian diaspora for all its efforts to successfully rebuild Armenia so quickly after independence. “The Caucus prides itself to work with the diaspora to build bridges between the U.S. and Armenia,” Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Pallone said.
Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Speier wished Armenia a happy anniversary while sharing her vision for a prosperous Armenia. In her remarks, she discussed working on a second Millennium Challenge compact for Armenia, a nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Yerevan, improving sister city relations between the U.S. and Armenia, and organizing more Congressional delegations to travel to Armenia.
Last week, the Assembly joined the Armenian Embassy on the anniversary of Armenia’s independence for a reception thanking Members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues for their significant contribution in strengthening the friendship between the two nations.
“As we celebrate this important milestone in Armenia’s history, we are also fully cognizant of the threats Armenians continue to face from hostile neighbors. This past weekend, the Assembly was deeply troubled by the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Karabakh serviceman by the Azerbaijani side. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and to the nation. We stand in solidarity with the people of Artsakh and Armenia. Azerbaijan’s ongoing cease-fire violations must be addressed. America must assert its leadership and hold Azerbaijan accountable for its actions, including the horrific atrocities committed during the April war it launched,” Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny stated.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a 501©(3) tax-exempt membership organization.
Click here for more photos from the Armenian Caucus Appreciation Reception on the Armenian Assembly of America’s Facebook Page.
Photo Caption 1: Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny, Armenian Assembly Public Affairs Associate Danielle Saroyan, Armenian Assembly Capital Region Council Co-Chair Clara Andonian, Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannissian, Armenian Assembly Board Member Annie Totah, Armenian National Institute Director Dr. Rouben Adalian, and Armenian Assembly Capital Region Council Co-Chair Doris George.
Photo Caption 2: Armenian Assembly of America Board Member Annie Totah, Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.
Photo Caption 3: Armenian Assembly of America Board Member Aram Gavoor, former Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. Rouben Shugarian, Armenian National Institute Director Dr. Rouben Adalian, and Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.
Photo Caption 4: Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, Armenian Assembly Board Member Annie Totah, and Reverend Father Hovsep Karapetyan of St. Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Washington, D.C.