Greeks Join Protest of Armenia’s Exclusion From Holocaust Forum

*Encourage deputy treasury secretary Eizenstat to explain what steps he took to protest Turkish pressure on conference organizers.

WASHINGTON–The American Hellenic Council has joined with the Armenian National Committee of America in calling upon Deputy Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat to explain what steps he took to protest Armenia’s exclusion from the International Holocaust Forum held in Stockholm–Sweden this past January.

Prior to the conference–thousands of Armenian Americans had contacted the Deputy Treasury Secretary’s office to call upon him–as the senior US government representative to the conference–to formally raise objections to the decision of the event organizers to not include Armenia among the forty-eight states invited to the conference. To date–Deputy Secretary Eizenstat has yet to respond to these inquiries on what steps he took or to indicate if he even raised Armenia’s exclusion in any manner.

"We thank the Hellenic American Council and our many friends in the Greek American community for joining with us in calling on Deputy Secretary Eizenstat to account for what steps – if any–he took to raise the objections of the United States to Armenia’s exclusion from this important international conference," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We remain hopeful that the Deputy Secretary will end his silence on this matter and reply to the concerns addressed to him by the Greek and Armenian American communities."

"Given the fact that Armenia was the victim of the 20th Century’s first genocide–how can we not support their cause?" asked American Hellenic Council’s Vivian Panou–in a February 7 nation-wide letter to Greek Americans. "In an effort to keep the memories of the Armenian Genocide alive–we must help our friends by contacting Deputy Treasury Secretary Eizenstat. He must know that we are in support of the Armenian-American’s protest and that he should take proper action to support their cause."

The Holocaust Forum–held from January 26 through 28–was organized by the Swedish government as a "contribution to international cooperation on Holocaust education–remembrance and research," while stressing the prevention of future tragedies and "ethnic conflict and other expressions of hatred and discrimination."

The ANCA works with a broad coalition of ethnic groups–human rights advocates–and arms control organizations on a range of foreign policy issues–among them bringing an end to Turkey’s

1. denial of the Armenian Genocide;

2. military occupation of Cyprus;

3. blockade of US aid to Armenia;

4. torture and abuse of human rights;

5. denial of Kurdish rights–and;

6. restrictions on Christian communities.

For more information regarding the Stockholm Holocaust Forum and Armenia’s exclusion check the ANCA website at www.anca.org.

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