ANCA-WR News: ANCA Leaders Attend Senator Kerry Event

Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
104 North Belmont Street, Suite 200
Glendale, California 91206
Phone: 818.500.1918 Fax: 818.246.7353
[email protected]

March 24, 2004

Contact: Ardashes Kassakhian
Telephone: 818.500.1918


LOS ANGELES, CA – National, regional and local leaders and supporters
of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) are sponsoring a
major fundraiser in Beverly Hills for Democratic presidential
candidate, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

The event, which will be held on March 30th at the home of noted Los
Angeles businessman Ron Burkle, will feature a concert by James Taylor
and remarks by former Secretary of State William Christopher. ANCA
supporters are among the leading contributors for the event, which is
expected to collect over half a million dollars for the Kerry

“We have been encouraged by the enthusiastic outpouring of support for
the Senator and the growing interest in his campaign from all segments
of the Armenian American community,” said ANCA-Western Region Chairman
Raffi Hamparian. “We have, for more than two decades, known of
Senator Kerry’s principled leadership on issues of concern to our
community. We look forward to doingall we can to share his excellent
record with Armenian American voters in the weeks and months before
the November 2nd election.’

Senator Kerry, during his long tenure in the U.S. House and Senate,
has consistently been a leading advocate of issues of concern to
Armenian Americans. As a U.S. Senator, Kerry has forcefully fought
for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He is currently a
cosponsor of the Genocide Resolution, S.Res.164, and he voted, in
1990, on the Senate floor for Senator Bob Dole’s (R-KS) Genocide

Meeting with ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian and ANC
activist Mihran Toumajan last September, the Senator acknowledged the
support of many Armenian Americans during his political career. On
the issue of the Genocide Resolution, which specifically references
the Armenian Genocide, the Senator promised continued advocacy. “It
is called justice, and we will get there together,” pledged Senator
Kerry. “I was incensed when the Turkish lobby and its allies
disrupted the bill in the Senate before,” Kerry added, referring to
the 1990 vote on Sen. Dole’s Genocide Resolution.

The Massachusetts Senator has been a vocal and effective champion of
stronger U.S.-Armenia relations and has consistently backed
legislative initiative to increase aid and expand trade with Armenia.
He is currently a cosponsor of legislation, S.1557, which would grant
Armenia permanent normal trade relations status.

Significantly, Senator Kerry has spearheaded a number of initiatives
to lift the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades. In 1991, he was the
lead sponsor of legislation, which was later enacted as Section 907 of
the Freedom Support Act, that restricted U.S. aid to the government of
Azerbaijan until it lifted its blockades of Armenia and Nagorno
Karabagh. He also worked for the adoptionof the Humanitarian Aid
Corridor Act, which called for U.S. aid to Turkey to be cut off unless
Turkey lifted its blockade of Armenia. As recently as this January,
Senator Kerry formally called on President Bush to press the visiting
Prime Minister of Turkey to lift his nation’s illegal blockade of

First elected in 1984 from Massachusetts, Sen. Kerry is currently
serving a fourth term in the US Senate, where he represents one of the
largest Armenian American communities. He serves on the Senate
Finance Committee, the Committee on Commerce, Science and
Transportation, the Committee on Foreign Relations, and the
Subcommittee on Central Asia and South Caucasus.

For two differing perspectives on the Bush Administration’s record on
Armenian American issues, visit:

* Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council

* National Organization of Republican Armenians