Key House Panel Unanimously Approves Legislation Condemning Attack On Parliament

WASHINGTON–The House International Relations Committee today voted unanimously in support of legislation condemning the October 27 assassination of Armenian Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan–Parliament Speaker Karen Demirchian and six others government leaders killed during an attack in the Armenian parliament–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

The resolution–introduced by Representative Jim Rogan (R-Calif.)–calls attention to the "strong alliance between Armenia and the United States," and notes that "Armenia has shown itself to be a valued ally of the United States and the democratic nations of the world."

"We would like to thank Chairman Gilman and ranking member Sam Gejdensen for moving this legislation quickly through the committee process," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We join with Congressmen Rogan–Radanovich and the others behind this expression of sympathy and mourning on the part of the American people for those slain in this brutal attack. We join as well–during this tragic moment in Armenia’s history–in the reaffirmation of America’s support for Armenia’s continued progress toward democratic principles and the strengthening of the United States-Armenia alliance."

House Concurrent Resolution 216 was introduced immediately after the tragic violence in the Armenian parliament was reported internationally. Since then–fifty members of Congress have co-sponsored the legislation–including Armenian Congressional Caucus co-chairmen Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and John Edward Porter (R-Ill.). In the days leading up to today’s consideration by the International Relations Committee of the legislation–Ranking Democrat Sam Gejdenson (R-Conn.) stressed its importance to Committee Chairman Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.)–arguing that its passage "will show the support and goodwill that the US Congress has toward the Armenian people and their government."

Chairman Gilman and Representatives Sam Gejdensen–James Rogan and George Radanovich (R-Calif.) each urged their colleagues to support the resolution–during the mark-up today. "Along with our sympathies–we must send to the Armenian people the message that we remain committed to strengthening the enduring ties between the American and Armenian peoples and to fostering the continued growth of the relationship between our governmen’s," argued Radanovich during the meeting. The legislation was passed unanimously by voice vote and can now be considered by the House of Representatives under the Suspension Calendar.

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