AAA: Assembly Praises Kerry Statement

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]
April 22, 2004
CONTACT: David Zenian
E-mail: [email protected]


Washington, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America Thursday praised
Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry (D-MA) for his
statement of support on the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the Armenian

Kerry, a long time supporter of Armenian issues, in a statement said, “By
keeping the memory of this tragedy alive, the Armenian Americans remind us
all of our collective responsibility to insure that such horrors are not

The statement came two days after a group of 20 Armenian-American activists,
led by Assembly Massachusetts State Chair Herman Purutyan and Regional Chair
LuAnn Ohanian, met with senior members of Kerry’s staff during the
Assembly’s National Conference which was held in Washington April 18-21.

“Senator Kerry has always been an ardent supporter and a true friend of the
Armenian community and we appreciate his solid commitment on issues of great
importance to Armenian-Americans,” said Assembly Board of Trustees President
Carolyn Mugar. “We will never forget all that he has done and continues to
do as a leading advocate for our cause.”

Following is the text of Senator Kerry’s statement:

“April 24th marks the 89th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian
Genocide. Between 1915 and 1923 the rulers of the old Ottoman Empire killed
or deported over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children in a
systematic policy of ethnic extermination.

“I thank Armenian Americans for their persistence in the struggle to gain
international recognition of this atrocity. By keeping the memory of this
tragedy alive, Armenian Americans remind us all of our collective
responsibility to insure that such horrors are not repeated. I am proud of
my work with the Armenian American community to gain broader recognition of
the Armenian Genocide, including fighting alongside Senator Robert Dole in
1990 for designation of April 24 as a national day of remembrance for this

“I have been an unwavering supporter of many other important Armenian
issues. In 1992 I authored an amendment to the Freedom Support Act making
U.S. aid to Azerbaijan conditional on it taking steps to end its blockades
against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. I supported the Humanitarian Aid
Corridor Act in 1996 which prohibits U.S. assistance to any country that
restricts the delivery of U.S. humanitarian aid to another country. In 2003
I cosponsored legislation to extend “permanent normal trade relations”
(PNTR) to Armenia. And this January, I joined Senators Barbara Boxer,
George Allen, Paul Sarbanes, Russ Feingold and Jon Corzine in asking the
President to urge Turkey to lift its embargo of Armenia.

“I join Armenian Americans and Armenians worldwide in mourning the victims
of the Armenian Genocide and I call on governments and people everywhere to
formally recognize this tragedy. Only by learning from this dark period of
history and working to prevent future genocides can we truly honor the
memories of those Armenians who suffered so unjustly.”

The Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide
organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian
issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.