Calls for White House Meeting Between President and Armenian-American Leadership
WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) this week, in its congratulations message on the occasion of Barack Obama’s second inauguration, called upon the president to “reset” his relationship with Armenian-Americans with a pre-April 24th policy-level meeting with the community’s broad-based leadership.
“We are writing to congratulate you on your reelection as president of the United States, to welcome your inauguration, and, on behalf of our nation’s two million Americans of Armenian heritage, to reaffirm our interest in working with your administration to align U.S. policy with the principles and priorities that you brought to the White House,” began the letter to Obama. ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian went on to cite the importance of a community leadership meeting with the president, which would “provide a first opportunity for our leadership to hear from you personally about your perspectives and policies, and to explore areas of future cooperation.” The full text of the ANCA letter is provided below.
Tthe ANCA also launched a community webmail campaign asking Obama, quite simply, “When will you honor your pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide?” Reminding the president of his strong record of affirming the historical truth regarding the Armenian Genocide during his years in the Senate, the online campaign notes, “Armenia and all the world are less safe today as a result of the terrible precedent of a genocide committed with impunity.” It goes on to state that “there is still time, as early as this coming April 24th, to honor your commitment and put America on the right side of this fundamental issue of humanity and human rights.”
To participate in the ANCA online outreach effort to the president, visit www.anca.org/action_alerts/action_disp.php?aaid=62341091.
Text of ANCA letter
January 18, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We are writing to congratulate you on your reelection as President of the United States, to welcome your inauguration, and, on behalf of our nation’s two million Americans of Armenian heritage, to reaffirm our interest in working with your administration to align U.S. policy with the principles and priorities that you brought to the White House.
It is in this spirit of cooperation, and consistent with your pledge to actively engage with Armenian-American leaders, that we again call upon you to invite the broad-based leadership of our community to a meeting with you to discuss your administration’s policies on Armenian issues. Such a meeting would allow you to hear directly about our concerns as well as our expectations for the future. It would also provide a first opportunity for our leadership to hear from you personally about your perspectives and policies, and to explore areas of future cooperation. The absence of such a direct dialogue over the past four years, despite the considerable attention you have devoted to issues related to Armenia, has, in our estimation, contributed to and further compounded the considerable disappointments in terms of our community’s relationship with our Executive Branch of government.
In light of your still unmet pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and given the approach of the first April 24th of your second term in office, we respectfully request, consistent with our community letter welcoming your first swearing-in, that you extend an invitation to our broad-based community leadership for a meeting in March or early April of this year.
Please accept our appreciation for your consideration of our request, and, once again, our congratulations upon your reelection as President of the United States of America.
Kenneth V. Hachikian