Radanovich to Visit Armenia Karabakh

WASHINGTON–Congressman George Radanovich (R-Calif.) today announced that he will lead a delegation on a visit to the Republics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh from April 2 to 5. The Radanovich led delegation will include representatives of the Fresno based Armenian Technology Group–a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Armenia towards food and agricultural self sufficiency. The delegation will also include Radanovich’s wife Ethie–Chief of Staff John McCamman–District Director Steve Samuelian–ATG Chairman Dr. Arthur Hazarabedian–ATG Board Members Dr. Gary Posz and Dr. Bruce Janigian–as well as ATG Executive Director Varoujan Der Simonian. The trip is being financed by members of the San Joaquin Valley Armenian-American community–and taxpayer dollars are not being used for any portion of the visit. Radanovich has planned delgation meetings with the US Ambassador to Armenia Peter Tomsen; Levon Ter-Petrosyan; Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian; Prime Minister Robert Kocharian; and tours of many key agricultural sites in Armenia. Additionally–Radanovich will be only the third Congressman ever to visit the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. He is scheduled to address a special session of the Karabakh Parliament on April 4 and visit with key Karabakh government officials. Radanovich will visit Dzidzsernagapert–the Memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Included in the trip will be a planned visit to the Holy See of Etchmiadzin and a meeting with His Holiness Karekin I–the Patriarch of All Armenia’s. Furthermore–Radanovich plans to meet with representatives of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and encourage their continued involvement in Armenia related projects. While in Karabakh–Radanovich intends to encourage Republic of Karabakh leaders in their struggle for self-determination and securing borders. Radanovich will highlight the fact that history and justice are on the side of the Karabakh government and that until self-determination is achieved–a meaningful resolution to the coflict will not occur. Radanovich–a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues has been a leader of Armenian causes since entering Congress. He was an original cosponsor of the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act–and has written to President Clinton and the State Department on several occasions to protest pro-Turkish and pro-Azeri positions on key issues. Most notably–Radanovich authored the historic Radanovich-Bonior Amendment which passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote last summer. That amendment called for a cut in US aid to Turkey until that country recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The passage of the amendment caused a formal protest from the Government of Turkey along with an official statement refusing all future US aid. Most recently–Radanovich introduced the "Armenian Assistance Act" Feb. 4. The Act proposes to redirect $22 million of economic support aid for Turkey–or any remaining amount of these funds from the FY ?97 Appropriation Act .

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