A united delegation of Armenian Americans visited Washington, D.C. on June 21st and 22nd in connection of an ongoing new initiative of advocacy directed toward the critical situation facing Armenia and Artsakh. The objective of the initiative is to focus the attention of key lawmakers on the negotiations between Armenian and Azerbaijan and the dire humanitarian situation in Artsakh, and to forge a truly bipartisan consensus in support of the Armenian cause.
The delegation included His Eminence Archbishop Anoushavan, Prelate; Very Rev. Fr. Simeon Odabashian, Vicar General of the Eastern Diocese; Nina Hovnanian, CEO of Hovnanian International of Armenia; Judith Saryan C.F.A.; John Saryan M.D.; Arlene Saryan C.F.P.; Christian Alexander COO; Robert Avetisyan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh in the United States; Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA); Alex Galitsky, Program Director of the ANCA; Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of Armenia; Armen Morian, Esq., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of St. Illuminator’s Cathedral; Drew Bowling, Designated Congressional Liaison; and Dr. Siobhan Nash-Marshall, Mary T. Clark RSCJ Chair of Christian Philosophy at Manhattanville College.
The delegation’s visit was timed to coincide with the hearings of the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights on June 21, which the initiative was instrumental in originating.
The delegation met with Rep. Michael T. McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. (R-New Jersey), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Rep. Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey), Chairman of the Lantos Commission on Human Rights; Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Florida), member of the Lantos Commission, and the senior staffs of Sen. J. D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida).
The initiative represents a coming together of the Armenian American community, uniting the two ecclesial jurisdictions of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the principal Armenian American advocacy groups, joined by individuals representing the broad spectrum of Armenian American success in the professions and business.