YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—A Congressional delegation headed by Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.) visited Armenia Sunday en route to Afghanistan. The delegation met with President Serzh Sarkisian and Parliament Speaker Samvel Nikoyan.
The members of the House of Representatives are part of a bi-partisan commission established in 2005 to support the development of legislatures in emerging democracies. This was the second such visit to Armenia by the group known as the House Democracy Partnership,
President Sarkisian hosted the delegation at a dinner reception, which was attended by the US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern.
At the dinner in honor of the Congressmen, Sarkisian said that he attaches great importance meetings with friends of Armenia in Congress whose support has had an impact on the establishment and development of democracy in Armenia as well as on the preservation of stability in our region.
“Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to you all for making financial, humanitarian and technical assistance to Armenia possible from day one of our independence,” said Sarkisian. “This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Armenia and the United States, and I am glad that we are celebrating this occasion.”
“Your commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Armenia can be an example for many, many others,” said Dreier who emphasized the importance of the upcoming parliamentary elections to US-Armenia relations and urged the government and all the political parties to “do everything in their power to ensure free, fair, and credible elections.”
Aside from Dreier, the delegation included Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Reverend Patrick Conroy, Chaplain of the House of Representatives, and staff.