AAA: Assembly, Activists Discuss Community Issues at Annual Picnic

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

July 16, 2004
CONTACT: Christine Kojoian
E-mail: [email protected]

Detroit Area Event Welcomes More Than 100 Supporters

Farmington Hills, MI – The Armenian Assembly’s annual summer picnic in
Michigan July 11 brought together more than 100 area supporters, eager to
address the critical issues facing the community through increasing their
political activism at state and federal levels.

Assembly Congressional Relations Director Rob Mosher, in a Washington
update, addressed several pending issues including the recent vote by the
House Appropriations Committee to reinstate U.S. policy to maintain security
parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Mosher said activists were
particularly pleased to learn that legislators agreed to allocate $5 million
in military financing to both countries, thereby breaking from the Bush
Administration request to seek a $6 million increase for Baku over Yerevan.

Fellow Trustee Edgar Hagopian, who as Regional Director of the Great Lakes
Council helped organize the event in Farmington Hills, added that
Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) was instrumental in reinstating balance
which is fundamental to the Nagorno Karabakh peace process.

Mosher also discussed a crucial trade bill that would strengthen the
U.S.-Armenia trade relationship. Known as “permanent normal trade
relations” (PNTR), the legislation would remove a provision governing
Armenia’s continued access to low tariffs. Some activists inquired about
the additional benefits attached to PNTR status. Mosher said that the bill,
if enacted, would signal an upgrade to Armenia’s status as a trading partner
and could open the door to additional bilateral trade agreements.

Event participants also embraced the recent decision by Congressmen
Knollenberg and Frank Pallone Jr., (D-NJ), as Co-Chairs of the Congressional
Caucus on Armenian Issues, to head a series of pan-Armenian events to
commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide next year in
Washington. The Assembly, Mosher said, has already pledged its full
cooperation and is welcoming the opportunity to join with the
Armenian-American community to honor this occasion.

Hagopian closed the event by thanking supporters for their participation and
interest in the Assembly and commended fellow Council members, including
Board of Directors Member and Associate Trustee Daniel Ajamian, Fellow
Trustees Bob and Margaret Benian, Affiliate Member Paul Kulhanjian,
Affiliate Member Shirley Sarkissian, Fellow Trustees Bob and Madeline
Thomasian and Affiliate Member David Terzibashian for contributing to the
success of the yearly picnic.

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.

Photographs available on the Assembly’s Web site at the following link:

Caption: Left to Right: Armenian Assembly Great Lakes Regional Council
Members Bob and Madeline Thomasian, David Terzibashian, Shirley Sarkissian,
Edgar Hagopian and Paul Kulhanjian during the annual picnic at Heritage
Park. Not pictured: Daniel Ajamian and Bob and Margaret Benian.

Caption: More than 100 Detroit-area supporters attended a briefing by
Armenian Assembly Congressional Relations Director Rob Mosher at Heritage
Park on July 11.