AGBU: US Amb. John Evans Joins Armenian Church & Org Reps in NY

AGBU Press Office
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022-1112
Phone 212.319.6383 x.118
Fax 212.319.6507
Email [email protected]

Friday, February 25, 2005


New York, NY – On February 11th, 2005, a special dinner reception in
honor of United States Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, was hosted
by AGBU President Berge Setrakian along with representatives of major
New York-area Armenian organizations at AGBU Central Office in
Manhattan. Over 40 people attended the Friday night event, which
allowed the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to familiarize himself
with the tri-state’s Armenian institutions, and the important role
they play within the Armenian Diaspora.

After welcoming the audience, Mr. Setrakian thanked the Ambassador for
all his efforts to strengthen the bridges between the United States
and Armenia. He further pledged AGBU’s commitment to continue working
through the various U.S. agencies such as the USAID, for the benefit
of Armenia. He then introduced the representatives of the various
organizations present and participating in the dinner reception.

Ambassador Evans thanked AGBU for the opportunity created for him to
be present at the dinner and briefly outlined the three goals that
compose current U.S. policy in Armenia, “…For economic growth they
[people in the south Caucasus] need stability, that is why we are
working very hard with the foreign ministries of Armenia and
Azerbaijan to bring about a lasting solution [to Karabakh]…that’s
our first goal. Our second big goal is to build the economy of
Armenia, and to build it in a broad-based and sustainable way so that
not only the very wealthy oligarchs in Armenia are profiting but so
there is a good economic life for the bulk of the people. A third
important goal of our policy, is to foster genuine democratic
institutions. Now I’ve only been in Armenia for six months, but I want
to report to you that I think the country is headed in the right
direction in many, many ways.”

Ambassador Evans also thanked AGBU for its continuing leadership role
in the Diaspora and Armenia, “I think you should be very proud of what
you have done as AGBU, we see the signs of that, they are visible
everywhere, in Yerevan and outside Yerevan. You have done wonderful
things and you continue to do wonderful things and we are very proud
of you also, and we’re proud of our association with you.”

Honored guests for the evening, included the Ambassador’s wife and
daughter, USAID’s Armenia Director, Robin Phillips, U.S. State
Department representatives, Aaron Sherinian and Eugenia Sidereas,
Ambassador Arman Kirakossian of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Armen Martirosyan of the Permanent
Mission of Armenia to the United Nations, Moses Abelian, Secretary of
the Administrative and Budgetary committee of the United Nations, AGBU
Vice-President Nazar Nazarian, AGBU Secretary Joseph Basralian, AGBU
Board Member Carol Aslanian, AGBU Board Member Michael Ansour, Van
Krikorian, Board Member of the Armenian Assembly of America, and
Kenneth V. Hachikian, Chairman of the Armenian National Committee.

Church representatives in attendance were, Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan
of the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America (East),
Most Reverend Manuel Batakian of the Apostolic Exarchate for Armenian
Catholics, and Andy Torigian, Executive Director of the Armenian
Missionary Association of America. Archbishop Khajag Barsamian of the
Armenian Apostolic Church (Eastern Diocese) being out of town was not
able to attend.

Representatives from the following Armenian organizations were also
present: Armenia Fund USA, Birthright Armenia, Constantinople Armenian
Relief Society, Fund for Armenian Relief, Near East Foundation, and
Tekeyan Cultural Association and AGBU Young Professionals of Greater
New York.

AGBU is the largest non-profit Armenian organization in the world and
serves over 400,000 Armenians annually. For more information on AGBU
and its programs in Armenia and elsewhere, please visit