ARS Issues Open Letter to AGBU and Armenian Assembly

The Armenian Relief Society (ARS) on Friday issued an open letter to the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Armenian Assembly calling for clarification over reports that the two organizations had sought the exclusion of the ARS from a scheduled meeting about the Armenia-Turkey protocols with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a select group of Armenian American organization. We provide the statement below:

Two weeks ago, it was announced that the U.S. State Department had invited a select group of Armenian American organizations to a meeting to discuss the Turkish-Armenian protocols and related topics, leaving out several other organizations. On many occasions, the Armenian Relief Society, which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its humanitarian work this year, has participated in discussions with the U.S. administration on matters of central importance to Armenians. Therefore, the ARS wrote an official letter to the State Department requesting, as the largest women’s organization in the U.S. and the Armenian Diaspora, to participate in the meeting.

In the past few days, we were surprised to learn from the press that the AGBU leadership in the U.S. had expressed its opposition to the participation of the ARS in this meeting. The news was followed by a press release circulated by the Armenian Assembly—and bearing the signature of the AGBU as well—regarding the meeting with the State Department and Armenian American representation with convoluted language.

Whereas the Turkish-Armenian protocols are not an issue of concern to solely this or that Armenian organization or group, as they deal with a central national matter,

Whereas the right to decide on the Armenian community’s representatives to meet with the U.S. administration is up to Armenian Americans as a whole, and no organization, group, or individual can reserve to themselves the right to choose those representatives, thereby playing a divisive role in the community,

Whereas discussing such issues behind closed doors complicates matters and lends itself to unnecessary polemics,

Whereas the ARS has always been and will continue to be open with the people and has nothing to hide from it,

We therefore ask the leadership of the AGBU and the Armenian Assembly to publicly clarify their position regarding the ARS.

In our letter addressed to the U.S. State Department, we did not ask to replace any organization and we did not make any allegations about any organization. It is our sincere hope that the reports about the position of the AGBU, the positions expressed on its behalf, and the attributions made to the AGBU regarding the steps it has taken, are untrue. We hope that it will become clear that this episode is nothing more than an effort by non-Armenian circles to impose the ratification of the protocols on the Armenians and Armenia, and to sow divisions among Armenian Americans on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. We also hope that the necessary corrections will ensue.

ARS Central Executive
Feb. 11, 2010


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.


  1. John K. said:

    Here we go again. I just don’t beleive that AGBU, or any other Armenian Organization for that matter, has the right to decide which Armenian Organization could be included or excluded in dealing with the US Government about Armenian issues. If this is true, AGBU should be black listed among Armenian Americans. Nobody should make any contributions/donations to this Organization until they come to their senses and stop playing politics and stick to the charity work that they are chartered to do.

  2. Nairian said:

    Good for you A.R.S. Both the A.G.B.U. and the Armenian Assembly are very much at fault and out of order. Therefore, I say shame to both of the two organizations that are dividing the Armenian American people in the Diaspora and causing huge trouble in regards to the protocols that is so vital for Armenia’s and Artsakh’s sovereignty.

  3. Berge Jololian said:

    The difference between the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is that the latter promotes Armenian interests to the United States; while the former promotes US State Department interests to Armenians. ANCA’s mission is Armenian interests first! AAA’s mission is the US State Department interests first! This is the crucial difference. The Assembly (although run by Armenians) does not serve Armenian interests.

  4. Grigor Markaryan said:

    A Turk will always remain a Turk in the eyes of Armenian Assembly and A.G.B.U.

  5. Serge said:

    Soemthing that always had bothered me and made me sad and upset is the polotical differences that exist among us diaspora Armenians. I think now it is the time for us, diaspora Armenians to stop being stabborn and get united and leave the polotics to polotician in Yerevan. Now we have a country and parliament and if we want to be polotical we should move to Yerevan and participate in the polotical system in Yereva. Now it is the time for us to get united and fight for our cause together and not against each other, common guys let’s think out of box and come out that old shell that over shadows our logic and way of thinking, let’s be logical about it and accept the fact that with union we can acheive more and go far, common Armenians let’s get united and fight together with supporting each’s other back.

  6. Mihran Keheyian said:

    The leadership of AGBU and AAA have sunk to a new low, you are a disgrace to the Armenian nation for serving foreign interests.

    Shame on all of you as you don’t deserve anything else.
    You have no place with me and my family any more.

  7. Pingback: ARS Issues Open Letter to AGBU and Armenian Assembly | Asbarez … | armeniatoday