Armenian Parliamentary Leader Thanks Berman, Reiterates Support for Adoption of Genocide Bill

 

YEREVAN–The chairman of Armenia’s Parliamentary committee foreign affairs, Armen Rustamian, has sent a letter to his American counterpart, Howard Berman, thanking the democratic representative for his principled stand on the Armenian Genocide recognition.

The letter was sent on March 5, a day after the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, which Berman chairs, voted to adopt the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252). It thanked Berman for bringing the resolution to a vote in committee and supporting its endorsement.

“I wish to extend to you our heartfelt appreciation for the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s markup of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252), yesterday,” Rustamian’s leader read. We greatly appreciate your efforts and the efforts of all those who voted in favor of the resolution. The Committee has set the stage for the resolution to be considered by the full U.S. House of Representatives.”

In the letter, Rustamian also reiterated Armenia’s “complete support for the adoption” of the measure  a day after the resolution passed committee by a vote of 23-21.

“The Armenian people in our homeland, in the United States and around the world, remain grateful for the hard work that you and your colleagues, including, of course Congressmen Adam Schiff and George Radanovich, have devoted over the course of many years to secure U.S. recognition and official commemoration of this crime,” Rustamian said. Armenia aspires for the universal recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and sees it both as a restoration of historical justice and as a way to improve the overall situation in the region, while also preventing similar crimes in the future.”

The letter, which Rustamian urged Berman to share with his colleges, also stressed that the resolution would provide a positive impetus for a just reconciliation process to take place between Armenia and Turkey.

“I am confident that the affirmation of U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide not only would not hamper, but on the contrary will contribute to the prospects of a thorough dialogue between Turkey and Armenia,” he said.

The full text of the letter is presented below:

March 5, 2010
The Honorable Howard Berman
Chairman
Committee on Foreign Affairs
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Berman:

I wish to extend to you our heartfelt appreciation for the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s markup of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252), yesterday. We greatly appreciate your efforts and the efforts of all those who voted in favor of the resolution. The Committee has set the stage for the resolution to be considered by the full U.S. House of Representatives.

I wish to reiterate our complete support for the adoption of this measure affirming the commitment of the United States to the cause of genocide‐prevention. As we have discussed during our meeting in Washington, D.C., Armenia aspires for the universal recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and sees it both as a restoration of historical justice and as a way to improve the overall situation in the region, while also preventing similar crimes in the future.

The Armenian people in our homeland, in the United States and around the world, remain grateful for the hard work that you and your colleagues, including, of course Congressmen Adam Schiff and George Radanovich, have devoted over the course of many years to secure U.S. recognition and official commemoration of this crime. I am confident that the proponents of this process are also rightly convinced that the lack of affirmation of U.S. official recognition of the Armenian Genocide has thus far in fact served to make Turkey’s position in the issue of resolving the Armenian‐Turkish relations more uncompromising.

I am confident that the affirmation of U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide not only would not hamper, but on the contrary will contribute to the prospects of a thorough dialogue between Turkey and Armenia. On this issue we do differ with the recent announcement made by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, that “it is [not] for any other country to determine how two countries resolve matters between them, to the extent that actions that the United States might take could disrupt this process.”

In fact, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian immediately issued a statement saying, “We highly appreciate the decision by the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States House of Representatives to adopt Resolution 252 on the recognition of the Armenian genocide. This is another proof of the devotion of the American people to universal human values and is an important step toward the prevention of the crimes against humanity.” A clear and principled stance by the U.S. can only assist in developing awareness that the recognition of the Genocide is not at all a demonstration of anti‐Turkish sentiments, but a necessity emanating from the need to condemn this crime against humanity. Furthermore, any durable improvement of Armenia‐Turkey relations must rest upon a foundation of shared respect for truth and justice.

Finally, President Serzh Sargsyan and his administration have time and again declared, that any kind of relations with Turkey cannot put into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and the fact that the Armenian people have been dispossessed of their homeland, and the necessity to have these facts recognized and condemned by all of humanity. Also, contrary to Secretary Clinton’s assertion, the President of Armenia holds the position that “the relevant sub‐commission to be established under the [Armenia‐Turkey] intergovernmental commission is not a commission of historians.”

We are convinced that the adoption of H.Res. 252 by the U.S. House of Representatives will be the best testament, on the one hand, to the fact that the recognition and condemnation of a crime against humanity has a universal value and should not be solely a matter of bilateral relations, and, on the other hand, would reiterate that for the United States normalization of Armenia‐Turkey relations should take place without preconditions, including the precondition set by Turkey regarding recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Please share the contents of this letter with your colleagues in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and with other Representatives who you think would be interested in this matter.

Once again, thank you for your friendship with the people of the Republic of Armenia and for all your support and assistance over the years.

Sincerely,

Armen Rustamyan
Chairman
Standing Committee on Foreign Relations
National Assembly of Armenia

Sincerely,
Armen Rustamyan
Chairman
Standing Committee on Foreign Relations
National Assembly of Armenia

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

*

Top