YEREVAN—Members of the California legislature currently visiting Armenia met with Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Ara Babloyan on Friday, who emphasized the importance of developing bi-lateral relations with the United States and highlighted the role the Armenian Diaspora played in advancing those ties.
The California legislative delegation, led by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian arrived in Armenia on Wednesday and includes Senator Scott Wilk, as well as member of the California State Assembly Marc Levine Laura Friedman and Dante Acosta.
“The California legislative delegation to Armenia is an important step in continuing to strengthen ties between the Republic of Armenia and the State of California,” said Nazarian before departing for Armenia. “During this visit we will have the opportunity to learn about the history, culture, and governmental structure of Armenia.”
During the Friday meeting, Speaker Babloyan said that relations between US and Armenia were expanding not only on a political level but also on cultural, educational and economic fronts. He attached importance to US assistance in the development of democratic institutions in Armenia.
“I appreciate the US assistance for the creation and establishment of Armenia’s healthcare system. The first rehabilitation center in Armenia was created by US assistance – by changing the mentality and attitude toward disabled children,” said Babloyan.
Speaking about the ongoing reforms, Babloyan mentioned that unlike certain neighboring countries, Armenia is advancing on the path of democracy, freedom of speech and protection of human rights, and decentralization of its administrative governance.
Babloyan also discussed the ongoing developments in the Karabakh conflict resolution process.
“Armenia does not have a territorial issue with Azerbaijan,” said Babloyan. “The issue relates to self-determination and the rights of the people of Artsakh. Protection of human rights and security are important for us. Peace has no alternative in the civilized world therefore the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be resolved peacefully, within the OSCE Minsk Group format.”
Senator Wilk thanked Babloyan for the reception and introduced the members of delegation.