Senate Majority Leader Calls on Clinton to Meet with Armenian-American Leaders

In Letter to ANCA-Nevada, Senator Reid Reports that he has Shared Community Concerns over Protocols with Secretary Clinton

Harry_Reid

WASHINGTON–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has formally shared the reservations of the Silver State’s Armenian community regarding the dangers of the recently signed Turkey-Armenia Protocols with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a October 30, 2009 letter to ANCA-Nevada activist Razmig Libarian, the Senate leader reported that he had recently written to Secretary Clinton to pass along the concerns of his state’s citizens of Armenian heritage, and to encourage her to meet directly with the national leadership of the Armenian American community regarding the state of Turkey-Armenia relations.

In his letter to Secretary Clinton, dated October 20, 2009, Senator Reid wrote: “I am sure you are aware that this agreement has raised concerns in the Armenian community inside the United States. I have received many letters from Nevadans who do not support the creation of an international commission to examine the historical record on the genocide and who believe that the agreements are unfair to Armenia. (I have included a sample letter below). Given the serious nature of the community’s concerns, I felt it was important to raise them directly with you. The commission is particularly sensitive to the Armenian-American community since the Armenian genocide has never been recognized by Turkey.”

Despite the high profile of Armenia-Turkey ties in the Obama-Biden Administration’s foreign policy agenda, neither President Obama nor Secretary Clinton has met with the Armenian American community leadership.

The full text of both letters is provided below.

October 30, 2009
Dear Mr. Libarian:

Thank you for contacting me about your concerns regarding relations between Armenia and Turkey. I appreciate hearing from you.

I have always, and will continue to, recognize the terrible atrocities that took place in 1915 as genocide. As I said to those gathered for the Armenian American Cultural Society of Las Vegas’ annual commemoration on April 19, 2009, I believe that the United States should acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

On September 1, 2009, Armenia and Turkey signed protocols that expressed a desire to establish diplomatic relations between the two nations and open the border to trade. Final agreement is pending the ratification of the protocols by each country’s Parliament. As you note, these protocols also called for the formation of a commission to study the Armenian genocide.

I certainly appreciate the concerns that you raise in your letter and believe that it is important that the specifics issues you raise about the historical commission are taken into consideration. I recently wrote to Secretary Clinton to let her know about the concerns I have heard from my constituents on this issue, and included a sample copy of letters I have received. I also asked her to meet with the Armenian-American community to discuss these issues. The full text of my letter to Hilary Clinton is below.

Thank you once again for contacting me, and I hope you will continue to keep in touch. My best wishes to you.

Sincerely,

HARRY REID
United States Senator
Nevada

TEXT OF SENATOR REID’S LETTER TO SECRETARY CLINTON

October 20, 2009

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
22001 C Street, NW
Room 7226
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am writing about the recent agreement to establish normal diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia. I know you have personally been involved in the negotiation of this agreement and
appreciate your attention on the issues I am raising today.

I am sure you are aware that this agreement has raised concerns in the Armenian community inside the United States. I have received many letters from Nevadans who do not support the creation of an international commission to examine the historical record on the genocide and who believe that the agreements are unfair to Armenia. (I have included a sample letter below). Given the serious nature of the community’s concerns, I felt it was important to raise them directly with you. The commission is particularly sensitive to the Armenian-American community since the Armenian genocide has never been recognized by Turkey.

I would also respectfully suggest that you meet directly with Armenian-American groups so they have an opportunity to share their views with you. Thank you again for your consideration of this request and your interest in this important national security issue.

Sincerely,

HARRY REID
United States Senator

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3 Comments

  1. Samvel Jeshmaridian said:

    The most obvious thing in Turkey-Armenia relations is that both sides (the evil government of the Republic of Turkey and the illegal government of the Republic of Armenia) are trying to trick the United States. I hope the USA would not regret for supporting the Armenia-Turkey Protocols so ardently.
    jeshmarid@yahoo.com

  2. Donna Barsamian said:

    A sincere thank you to Senator Harry Reid for his persistence in encouraging Clinton and the US to recognize the Armenian Genocide as Genocide.
    The one and a half MILLION Armenians who were slaughtered by the Turks have names and faces, they were our , Grandparents, Parents, Aunts, Uncles, etc. Their deaths need to be validated as Genocide, they deserve that RESPECT.

  3. Kiazer Souze said:

    Why should she care? Why should her cigar smoking husband care? While he was busy with his cigar, Rwandan genocide exploded. Instead of taking care of those people to prevent future genocides, he ignored it in order to save a few thousand Turks in Bosnia.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Genocide does pay for these people. May they all go to Jahanem and quickly.

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