WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has again called upon President Obama to meet with the broad-based leadership of the Armenian American community, noting that his failure, over the past three and a half years, to consult personally with representatives of his Armenian American constituents – major stakeholders in U.S. foreign policy on Armenian issues – is unhealthy for both American democracy and U.S. diplomacy.
To date, despite his January 2008 campaign promise of “active engagement with Armenian American leaders on the full range of issues of concern to the Armenian American community,” the President has failed to hold a single meeting with the community’s leadership.
The complete text of the ANCA letter signed by Chairman Ken Hachikian is provided below.
Dear Mr. President:
I am writing to ask you, in the spirit of your campaign pledge to actively engage with Armenian American leaders, to invite the broad-based leadership of our community to a meeting with you to discuss your Administration’s policies on Armenian issues.
As you know, the ANCA has, since the first months of your tenure, regularly, publicly, and formally requested opportunities such as this for you to communicate personally with Armenian American leaders. Such a meeting, which, sadly, has yet to take place, would provide a much-needed platform for an open exchange of views, allowing you to hear directly about our concerns and disappointments as well as our expectations and our hopes for the future. The absence of a direct dialogue between you and your Armenian American constituents is unhealthy both for our democracy as well as for our diplomacy.
Mr. President, given the attention that your Administration has devoted to Armenian issues, and the time that you have personally devoted to meeting with other stakeholders – including foreign officials and domestic groups openly hostile to our community’s views and values – we remain hopeful that you will choose not to end your term in office without having held even a single official meeting with Armenian American leaders.
Please accept our appreciation for your consideration of this, our most recent request for a personal meeting with the broad-based leadership of the Armenian American community.
Kenneth V. Hachikian