Washington briefing: Armenian politician weighs in on Genocide resolution

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday March 27, 2009

Armen Rustamian, one of the four members of Armenia’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, chairs the Armenian parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Relations and is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Tatul Hakobyan for the Armenian Reporter

Washington - In a rare letter to a congressional colleague, a senior member of the Armenian parliament wrote to express "complete support" for the House Resolution 252 affirming the U.S. record on the Armenian Genocide, introduced earlier this month.

Armen Rustamian, chair of the National Assembly's Foreign Relations Committee and senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)'s leadership, addressed the March 19 letter to his U.S. counterpart, Rep. Howard Berman (D.-Calif.), who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which should next consider the resolution. The letter was circulated by the ARF's press service.

While pursuing universal recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide is Armenia's official policy, senior Armenian officials have rarely spoken out on specific proposals before the U.S. Congress. On the other hand, Turkish leaders have frequently voiced their opposition to the resolution.

Last week, a spokesperson for the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) reiterated her support for genocide recognition but added that congressional action on resolution was not imminent. The spokesperson, Brendan Day, told Reuters on March 19 that "no one's talking about a vote any time soon."

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