Asked in Hearing About the Armenian Genocide, Secretary of State Says He Will Review the Issue

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, during the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the State Department’s Budget, Operations, and Policy Priorities with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Congressmen David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brad Sherman (D-CA) both raised the subject of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

Senior Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Sherman suggested that the Department of State be neutral as Congress takes up the issue of remembering the Armenian Genocide. “I hope the State Department would at least be neutral should Congress consider – as we are considering [H. Res. 220] – the remembrance of the millions of Armenian, Greek, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Syriac victims of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the last century,” Rep. Sherman said.

Introduced by Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Representative Dave Trott (R-MI), H.Res. 220 reaffirms the Armenian Genocide and draws on relevant lessons from past genocides “in seeking to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against religious and ethnic groups in the Middle East.” Last month, during the Armenian Genocide Commemoration on Capitol Hill, Rep. Trott announced that he requested H.Res. 220 be scheduled for a vote before he retires at the end of this Congress.

During his questioning, Rep. Cicilline asked: “Will you, as Secretary of State, do what so many other Secretaries of State have not, and recognize the Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian citizens during World War I, yes or no?”

In response, Secretary Pompeo indicated that he “will review the issue.”

While serving in Congress in 2016, then-Representative Pompeo (R-KS) supported H.Con.Res. 75, “Expressing the sense of Congress that the atrocities perpetrated by ISIL against religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria include war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.” He also voted in favor of H.R. 115, the “Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.” The legislation sought “to strengthen investigations, reporting, and monitoring of religious freedom violations, including genocide perpetrated against religious minorities.”

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.

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NR#: 2018-022

 

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Armenia360.com Launched – New Armenian Assembly Service to Provide More Convenient Global Access to Armenia, Artsakh, and Diaspora News and Information

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) launched “Armenia 360” (www.armenia360.com), a wide-ranging source of news and information as well as links to major institutions and foundations, to help meet a significant need for Armenians.

Armenia 360” shares important headlines and links to informative websites for Armenians everywhere around the world. A comprehensive, one-stop website, “Armenia 360” provides easy access to every major news website, organization, university program, foundation, and government agency related to Armenian issues, in English, Armenian, and other languages.

“This product is designed to achieve several purposes,” noted Armenian Assembly Co-Chairman Van Krikorian. “First, there is a practical need to have a convenient, central site for relevant news and institutional links on how and where information on Armenian issues are sourced. Second, the different perceptions which led to deep divisions in the Armenian community historically have taken on new dimensions in the digital age, with self-selection of news and analysis, the differences between partisan and non-partisan groups especially related to the Diaspora’s role in Armenian and Artsakh politics and vice versa, the expansion of new organizations, and within and among communities around the world living in different cultural and political environments.  Third, we need to do a better job at communicating accurate facts so that we can all do more to help those in need,” Krikorian continued.

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The initial public version of the site is now live and will be provided by email to Armenian Assembly members and subscribers, without charge. The site will be updated regularly both to highlight major news developments and to add relevant links.  The general public, as well as organizations, are encouraged to share their thoughts as to which sites should be included by using the contact information provided on the website.

“’Armenia 360’ will also enable reporters and publications which may have had a limited audience in the past to reach more readers now and provide an opportunity to share live stories” said Armenian Assembly Co-Chairman Anthony Barsamian. “In addition, this website will be a valuable resource for matters of interest to officials, think tanks, and other organizations to follow more closely critical developments pertinent to Armenia, Artsakh, Turkey, and will save time for users by seeing all the top news stories in one place.”

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.

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NR# 2018-021

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