YEREVAN–The California state and local officials’ delegation, headed by State Assembly Speaker John Perez, on Friday met with Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian and discussed a wide range of issues, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Armenia’s future economic prospects.
In welcoming his guests, Sarkisian attached significant importance to frank and open dialogue with Armenia’s friends and to strengthen relations in the future. Sarkisian also underscored the importance of advancing relations with California.
“Our relations are based on the close historical ties of the two nations and presence of a large Armenian community in the US as well as common understanding of the ideas of democracy and freedom,” said Sarkisian adding that the United States plays an important role in preserving security and stability in the region and provides great assistance to Armenia in its efforts to institute reforms.
Sarkisian also stressed the importance of the delegation’s upcoming visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, “which will allow you to see first hand and later familiarize others with that ancient Armenian land, its rich heritage and today’s achievements.”
Nagorno Karabakh’s openness, accessibility and hospitality, according to the president, will only promote the peacefull resolution of the conflict.
Speaker Perez expressed his and the delegation’s gratitude to Sarkisian for the open and frank discussions and a detailed presentation of Armenia’s position on a number of issues. He presented his impressions of the meetings and visits during the delegation’s visit and emphasized that the California State Assembly pledges to continue its efforts in fighting for historic justice and truth, revealing them to the world and promoting peace and stability, as well as strengthening and developing bi-liateral with Armenia.
Sarkisian expressed hope that the delegation’s visit will become an additional impetus and will open new prospects for the development of cooperation between Armenia and California which will undoubtedly create favorable prerequisites for the deepening of the Armenian-US relations. Both sides highlighted the role of the large and influential Armenian community of California in the state’s social, political, economic and cultural life as well as in enhancing the bilateral relations.
Sarkisian also thanked the California officials for their continued support of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and for honoring the memory of the victims and condemning the crime, which in his words attests to “adherence to all human values.”
At the delegation’s request, Sarkisian spoke also about the upcoming economic programs, reflecting on the prospects of development of US-Armenia economic cooperation.
The Perez-led delegation also includes Assemblymembers Katcho Achajian, Cheryl R. Brown, Adrin Nazarian and Scott Wilk. A Los Angeles City Council delegation also visiting Armenia includes Bob Blumenfield and Paul Krekorian and staff.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region played a key role in organizing the delegation visit to Armenia and was represented by its board chairwoman Nora Hovsepian and Executive Director Elen Asatryan.