— Senators Markey, Reed, and Whitehouse Join Congressional Armenian Caucus Leadership in Praising Armenia’s Peaceful and Democratic Political Transition
WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) thanked leading legislative supporters of Armenia for their letter today congratulating Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the free and fair conduct of Armenia’s December 9th parliamentary election.
Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined with Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Dave Trott (R-MI), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) and Caucus Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) to praise Armenia’s “remarkable change in its government through peaceful and democratic means.” They stressed that the election represented “another resounding victory for advocates of a free and fair electoral process and ongoing democratic reforms.” In their letter to the Prime Minister, the legislators pledged to “continue to support your nation in its steadfast pursuit of regional security and economic prosperity. We will continue to identify opportunities to aid Armenia’s efforts to diversify its economy, strengthen its trade ties with countries like the United States, and continue to act as a safe haven for religious minorities fleeing persecution in the Middle East. We are proud of the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and look forward to bolstering our historic ties and friendship.”
“We appreciate this strong expression of Congressional support for Armenia’s remarkable progress, and are, in this spirit, working on a bipartisan basis with legislators in the House and Senate to pivot off of these free and fair elections to upgrade the U.S.-Armenia strategic partnership – driving higher level political dialogue, expanded trade and investment, and mutually beneficial cooperation on peacekeeping operations,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
The full text of the letter is provided below.
Earlier this week, as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convened to approve Ms. Lynne Tracy’s nomination as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Sen. Menendez welcomed Armenia’s free and fair elections, noting, “Armenia and the Caucasus region will continue to be vital to regional and global security. According to the OSCE, Armenia’s elections over the weekend met international standards. I look forward to supporting the government’s efforts to build strong democratic institutions, a vibrant Armenian economy, and oppose any efforts to violate Armenia’s sovereignty.”
A December 10th congratulatory statement issued by U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino, noted, in part, “This year has been a time of remarkable change in Armenia. For 27 years, the United States has sought to support the development of democratic processes and institutions in Armenia, and we will continue to do so. We look forward to working with the new Armenian Parliament and Government to deepen our bilateral partnership and cooperation to strengthen the rule of law and democratic institutions, combat corruption, promote trade and investment, and safeguard regional and global security.”
The full State Department statement is available at: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/12/287998.htm
TEXT OF SENATE AND HOUSE CONGRATULATORY LETTER ON ARMENIA PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
December 14, 2018
His Excellency Nikol Pashinyan
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia
Dear Prime Minister Pashinyan:
As members of the United States Congress and the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, we write to offer our congratulations on Armenia’s historic elections that took place on December 9.
Since April of last year, the Republic of Armenia has seen a remarkable change in its government through peaceful and democratic means. This change was motivated by the Armenian people strongly expressing their desire for an open democracy. Sunday’s election was another resounding victory for advocates of a free and fair electoral process and ongoing democratic reforms. As the political transition continues, we encourage your government to maintain that momentum by advancing initiatives to further government transparency, strengthen democratic institutions, and empower civil society in Armenia.
We also wish to reassure the Armenian people that we will continue to support your nation in its steadfast pursuit of regional security and economic prosperity. We will continue to identify opportunities to aid Armenia’s efforts to diversify its economy, strengthen its trade ties with countries like the United States, and continue to act as a safe haven for religious minorities fleeing persecution in the Middle East. We are proud of the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and look forward to bolstering our historic ties and friendship.
Once again, please accept our congratulations on an election that was calm, peaceful, and free of corruption or voter intimidation. We look forward to continuing our productive and robust dialogue with your administration moving forward.
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Congressman David Trott (R-MI), Congressman David G. Valadao (R-CA), Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and Congressman Adam B. Schiff (D-CA)