Markey, Pallone Spearhead Bicameral Letter to Nikol Pashinyan
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress and the Administration congratulated Nikol Pashinyan and the citizens of Armenia on last week’s historic parliamentary elections, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
Spearheaded by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), U.S. Representatives sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter of congratulations on December 14 to Pashinyan. In addition to Senator Markey and Congressman Pallone, the letter was also signed by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), along with Armenian Caucus leaders David Trott (D-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).
“Since April of last year, the Republic of Armenia has seen a remarkable change in its government through peaceful and democratic means. This change was motivated by the Armenian people strongly expressing their desire for an open democracy. Sunday’s election was another resounding victory for advocates of a free and fair electoral process and ongoing democratic reforms,” the letter stated.
Last week, citizens of the Republic of Armenia participated in a proud moment in its history. Through free and transparent parliamentary elections, the people consolidated earlier gains secured through peaceful protests for change in April of this year.
“We will continue to identify opportunities to aid Armenia’s efforts to diversify its economy, strengthen its trade ties with countries like the United States, and continue to act as a safe haven for religious minorities fleeing persecution in the Middle East. We are proud of the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and look forward to bolstering our historic ties and friendship,” Senator Markey and Congressman Pallone jointly stated.
“Armenians living in Armenia and around the world should take great pride in the country’s successful elections. Since Armenia’s Velvet Revolution began last April, my heart has been full watching Armenians from all walks of life engage politically, make demands of their government, and spur progress towards a truly representative democracy. I look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Pashinyan, other Members of Congress, and the Armenian people as we strengthen Armenia’s democracy and our nations’ ties,” Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Speier told the Armenian Assembly.
“The past six months have seen an unprecedented political transition in Armenia, and the conduct of a free and fair parliamentary election on December 9 was an exciting and welcome step on the pathway towards an invigorated Armenian democracy. I look forward to working to deepen and strengthen our country’s ties to Armenia – economic, military, and political – and to ensure we provide all appropriate assistance as our friend and ally Armenia navigates towards a bright, democratic future,” House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member and Armenian Caucus Co-Vice Chair Adam Schiff said to the Armenian Assembly.
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino also issued a statement on behalf of the U.S. government congratulating the people of Armenia on the conduct of their parliamentary elections.
“We welcome the assessment by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights that Armenia’s parliamentary elections were competitive and that candidates were able to campaign freely. The United States concurs with the OSCE’s preliminary conclusions that the elections process enjoyed broad public trust and respected fundamental freedoms. We encourage the authorities to address OSCE and Venice Commission recommendations for future elections,” stated the State Department Deputy Spokesperson.
“This year has been a time of remarkable change in Armenia. For 27 years, the United States has sought to support the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia, and we will continue to do so. We look forward to working with the new Armenian Parliament and Government to deepen our bilateral partnership and cooperation to strengthen the rule of law and democratic institutions, combat corruption, promote trade and investment, and safeguard regional and global security,” Palladino added.
Following the elections, Armenian Assembly Co-Chairmen stated: “There was a remarkable change in Armenia and at the ballot box yesterday. The way Armenia conducts itself going forward has changed, and we have the Armenian citizens and their political will for a fully free, just, and equal nation to thank. Yesterday’s elections marked an important step forward towards establishing a stronger and more robust democratic framework for Armenia, which stands in sharp contrast to the bordering hostile nations of Azerbaijan and Turkey whose governments’ corruption and unjust imprisonment of journalists worsen by the day. Armenia represents hope, and the Armenian Assembly of America will do everything in its capacity to foster this courageous optimism and work with the United States Government to strengthen not only the hope but the prosperity of Armenia.”
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 non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.