Upcoming Senate And House Hearings To Focus On Armenia And The Cauca


11.06.2008 10:28

The focus of two key Congressional committees will turn to the
Caucasus region next week as Senate Foreign Relations Committee
and House Foreign Affairs Committee members will, in an exercise of
their oversight responsibilities, have the opportunity to question
State Department officials on U.S. policy regarding Armenia and the
surrounding area, reported the Armenian National Committee of America

Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Dan Fried will testify before
the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday June 18th regarding
U.S. policy toward the Caucasus region. Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA)
and his fellow Committee members will be focusing on a wide range of
issues including the ongoing blockade of Armenia, U.S. policy on the
Armenian Genocide, and foreign aid. Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Nabi
Sensoy recently denied the existence of a Turkish blockade, arguing
that there are many Armenians who serve as "nannies" to Turkish
children. The World Bank estimates that Turkey and Azerbaijan’s
blockades of Armenia reduce Armenia’s GDP by up to 38% annually.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), along with Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA) and
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone, Jr. (D- NJ)
and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) recently introduced the "End the Turkish
Blockade of Armenia" Bill (H.R. 6079), which calls upon Turkey to
end its blockade of Armenia and asks the U.S. Department of State to
report on its efforts towards this end.

On Thursday, June 19th, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is
slated to hold a confirmation hearing for U.S. Ambassador to Armenia
nominee Marie Yovanovitch. On March 28, 2008, Pres. Bush nominated
Amb. Marie L.

Yovanovitch to serve as America’s next Ambassador to Armenia. The
ANCA has spoken to Committee members about the value of carefully
questioning Amb.

Yovanovitch on the many issues she will face as the U.S. envoy
in Yerevan, among them the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,
Turkey and Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockades of Armenia, and the need
for a balanced U.S. role in helping forge a democratic and peaceful
resolution to the Nagorno Karabagh conflict. These efforts have
been supported by extensive on-line outreach and a national postcard
campaign to key Senate Foreign Relations Committee members.