Rep. Joseph Crowley to Visit Armenian Center

Rep. Joseph Crowley to Visit Armenia WOODSIDE–NY–Armenian National Committee (ANC) of New York Chairperson Tony Vartanian met with Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY7) on July 31 to discuss the Congressman’s upcoming ANC-sponsored trip to Armenia. The meeting also gave ANC NY a chance to thank the Congressman for his continued leadership and support of Armenian American issues.

During the meeting which took place at the Representative’s Jackson Heights district office–Vartanian took the opportunity to discuss the highlights of the Congressman’s Armenia itinerary–including meetings with President Robert Kocharian–Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Committee Armen Rustamian–Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Vahan Hovhannisian–and Chairperson of the ARF Parliamentary group and former Minister of Education Levon Mkrtchyan. Meetings have also been scheduled with representatives of several coalition and opposition political parties–including the Republican Party–Country of Law Party–Armenian People’s Party–and the National Unity Party.

Congressman Crowley will visit Gyumri–the city most devastated by the 1988 earthquake–and will take the opportunity to observe several ongoing USAID projects there. He will also visit the region’s Armenian Relief Society (ARS) Pre-Natal Clinic–which is partially funded by the ARS of the Eastern United States.

On his visit to the Holy See of Etchmiadzin–the headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church–Cong. Crowley will meet with Catholicos Karekin II. Additionally–he will visit Dzidzernagapert–the National Armenian Genocide Memorial.

Congressman Crowley will reunite with longtime acquaintance and former Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church Eastern US–Archbishop Mesrob Ashjian while visiting the Mughni Monastery–significant because New York’s Armenian American community provided partial funding to reconstruct the monastery.

The congressman will arrive in Armenia on Friday–August 8 and depart on August 11. His Chief of Staff Christopher S. McCannell–and Legislative Aide Sarig Armenian will join accompany him.

After discussing the Congressman’s itinerary–Vartanian expressed the Armenian American community’s appreciation for Congressman Crowley’s continued leadership and support to the local Armenian American community.

During the 108th Congress–Congressman Crowley has cosponsored H.Res.193–the House Genocide Resolution; he has cosponsored H.R.528 to grant Armenia permanent normal trade relations with the US. The Congressman joined over 160 members of Congress in signing a letter to President George W. Bush urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide in his annual April 24th statement; testified against the proposed reduction in foreign aid to Armenia in the President’s budget–urging Congress to maintain the $90 million aid; and spoke at the ANCA Capitol Hill Observance of the Armenian Genocide.

"ANC NY is very happy to be able to coordinate a trip to Armenia for our longtime friend Congressman Crowley. Working together with the ANCA Eastern Region office and our representative in Armenia–we were able to organize several meetings in Armenia to benefit the Congressman–his staff–and the Republic of Armenia," said Vartanian.

"We further wanted to thank the Congressman for his strong and consistent support of all of our issues and concerns. As a member of the International Relations Committee–Congressman Crowley is in a position to help Armenia in the proper resolution of a variety of issues concerning the region," concluded Vartanian.

Joseph Crowley is currently serving his third term in Congress. In January 2003–Congressman Crowley was selected to serve the as Chief Deputy Whip–making him the highest-ranking New York member in the Democratic Leadership.

He is a member of the Committee on Financial Services–the International Relations Committee–and the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.

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