WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama issued a letter Wednesday congratulating Armenia on the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s Independence. The Armenian National Committee of America called the letter “largely generic” with key omission about Armenia’s current realities.
“On behalf of the United States, I congratulate you and the people of Armenia as you celebrate 25 years of independence this September 21,” said Obama in his letter.
“The United States has been a steadfast partner of Armenia from the first days of its independence. We remain committed to the promise of those early years, when Armenians proudly raised their tricolor flag for the first time since 1920. Today, we again affirm our belief that a secure, prosperous, and democratic Armenia is essential for the security for the Armenian people and for the region more broadly,” added Obama.
“We thank Armenia for its support of our shared goals, particularly its response to the Syrian refugee crisis and its contributions to global peacekeeping operations and nuclear security. We will continue to work together to help Armenia realize its full potential. I wish you and the people of Armenia all the best as you celebrate 25 years of independence,” concluded Obama’s letter.
“The letter is also notable for what it leaves out, namely any mention of the Armenian Genocide, the issue that the President so very prominently used to secure Armenian American votes in 2008, but that he quickly abandoned once elected,” the ANCA response posted on its social media sites said.
“It also does not reference the President’s signature Armenian initiative in office, the Turkish-Armenian Protocols. Looking back, it’s clear that the President, having secured Armenia’s backing for these recklessly flawed (and now demonstrably failed) accords in the first months of his first term, never held Ankara to account for walking away from its agreement to end its illegal blockade of Armenia,” added the ANCA response.
“Also, no mention of Artsakh, which, in the context of Azerbaijan’s April offensive, represents a missed opportunity to challenge Baku’s aggression and press the case for peace. This silence sends a dangerous signal to the Aliyev regime,” said the ANCA.