Georgia State Senate Recognizes Armenian Genocide

image

April
 Designated ‘Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month’ in Georgia

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, the Georgia
 State Senate adopted SR
 991
, a resolution “Recognizing the month of April, 2016, as Genocide
 Prevention and Awareness Month” in Georgia, reported the Armenian
 Assembly of America (Assembly).

The resolution states that “when coining the term
 ‘genocide,’ Raphael Lemkin was moved to investigate the forced assimilation,
 deportation, and near eradication of the Armenian population and other
 Christian communities, beginning in April, 1915, prompting Adolf Hitler to
 remark in 1939, ‘Who after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the
 Armenians?’”

“It was an honor to meet and join with members of the
 Georgia State Senate today in recognizing April as Genocide Awareness
 month,” stated Dr. Vahan Kassabian, Armenian Assembly Georgia State
 Chair, who was present at the capitol to witness the bill’s passage.
 "The resolution had bipartisan support and we will continue our efforts
 to broaden genocide recognition and human rights education in our school curriculum,“
 Kassabian said.

The resolution goes on to reference the Holocaust of European
 Jews during World War II, as well as the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Iraq,
 Rwanda, Sudan, and the current brutality of the Islamic State (aka
 ISIS/ISIL/Daesh) in Syria and Iraq as outstanding examples.  

The bill recognizes the "contributions of the Georgia
 Coalition to Prevent Genocide” of which the Assembly is a member, as
 well as Am Yisrael Chai, Eternal-Life Hemshech of Holocaust Survivors, the
 Georgia Commission on the Holocaust, the Jewish Community Relations Council
 (JCRC) of Atlanta, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the
 American Jewish Committee (AJC) Atlanta Regional Office, and AJC’s ACCESS
 Atlanta.

Last year, Dr. Kassabian spearheaded the Armenian Genocide
 centennial commemoration of Atlanta, which was held in conjunction with the
 Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide, at the Breman Museum. Kassabian was
 invited to speak to the JCRC-Atlanta town-hall
 meeting in August
when a resolution was put forth recognizing the 1915
 Armenian Genocide. Two months later, the JCRC’s national body, the Jewish
 Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), adopted the resolution, with support from
 chapters in Boston, Palm Beach, and Providence, acknowledging the 100th
 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and called on Congress and the White
 House to recognize the Armenian Genocide. “This is the first time that a
 policy position on the Armenian Genocide has been adopted by the JCPA,”
 the Assembly reported in November.

SR 991 was sponsored by State Senators Elena Parent (D-GA-42),
 David Shafer (R-GA-48), Renee Unterman (R-GA-45), Joshua McKoon (R-GA-29),
 Nan Orrock (D-GA-36), and Harold Jones II (D-GA-22).

“The Assembly appreciates the work of the Georgia State
 Senate, particularly Senators Parent, Shafer, Unterman, McKoon, Orrock, and
 Jones, as well as our state chair Dr. Vahan Kassabian,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “These anti-genocide activists in
 Georgia and across the U.S. are playing a major role in advancing human
 rights education and we look forward to the day when all 50 states incorporate
 the teaching of the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide in our schools,”
 Ardouny said.

Photo Caption (L-R): Martin Ngamije, Rwandan community of
Atlanta, Harvey Rickles, President of The Jewish Community Relations of
Atlanta, Melanie Nelkin, Chair of The Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide and
Dr Vahan Kassabian, Georgia Chair of The Armenian Assembly of America.

Armenia, Georgia Sign 2016 Military Cooperation Plan

By Karen Ghazaryan and Siranush Ghazanchyan

(ArmRadio) – A Georgian delegation led by Defense Minister Tinatin Khidasheli arrived in Armenia for an official 3-day visit. Following a welcome ceremony on February 1, the Defense Ministers of the two countries signed the 2016 Military Cooperation Plan.

“Although Armenia and Georgia have chosen different security systems, it will not hamper the cooperation on a common bilateral agenda aimed at the reinforcement of security and stability in the region,” Armenian DM Seyran Ohanyan told reporters following the meeting.

“I think we can see the best example in Afghanistan, where Armenian and Georgian peacekeepers are serving together for the sake of common peace and stability.  I’m here to speak about issues that unite us. Peace in the Caucasus is the first thing that unites us, and we cooperate in that direction,” Georgian DM Khidasheli said.

Referring to issues of Armenian-Georgian cooperation in the context of Georgian-Turkish and Georgian-Azerbaijani relations, Georgian DM Khidasheli said “the question is about strategic partnership.” “Georgia has a NATO-member neighboring country in the face of Turkey, which is of great importance to us,” she said.

The Georgian Defense Minister refrained from commenting on the vote of the Georgian delegation on the two anti-Armenian reports at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, but advised to look at the issue from the perspective of security.