ARF Parliament Leader To Meet With U.S. Representatives, East Coast


Dec 10th, 2009

Armen Rustamian, Chairman of the ARF Supreme Council of Armenia,
delivers a fiery speech at a rally in Yerevan against the protocols.

WATERTOWN, Mass.-Armen Rustamian, a leading member of the Armenian
Revolutionary Federation’s Supreme Council in Armenia is touring East
Coast Armenian-American communities and will be visiting congressional
and other U.S. government representatives in the coming days, announced
the ARF Eastern US Central Committee

Rustamyan is also a member of Armenia’s National Assembly, serving
as chairman of its Standing Committee on Foreign Relations. During
his visit, he will discuss a wide range of issues tied to Armenia’s
foreign policy and will reiterate the ARF’s continued opposition to
the Armenia-Turkey protocols.

Rustamyan arrived in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 9 for a full day of
meetings with congressional representatives. During these meetings,
he emphasized the dangers underlying the Armenia-Turkey protocols,
and their use by the government of Turkey to impose preconditions
that are detrimental to Armenian national interests.

Among the members of Congress Rustamyan met with was Rep. Howard
Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign
Affairs. Rustamyan wrote to Berman in March 2009, just prior to the
April announcement of the "roadmap" that led to the Armenia-Turkey
protocols. "Taking into account that the United States has not
yet officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, Turkey makes its
status more and more inflexible in the resolution of Armenian-Turkish
relations," Rustamyan said. "I am sure that the U.S. recognition of
the Armenian Genocide will not become an obstacle to Armenian-Turkish
relations, it will contribute to their improvement."

Today, his words ring prophetic as the protocols have since been
used as a sword by Turkey to block U.S. recognition of the genocide,
to force Armenia to recognize its current illegal border with Turkey,
and to push Armenia toward resolving the Karabagh issue in a manner
that denies its people their right to self-determination.

The protocols are currently before Armenia’s Constitutional Court.

Rustamyan stated earlier this month that the ARF considers the
protocols illegal under Armenia’s constitution, and that the court
has every reason to consider them invalid.

After meeting with members of Congress, Rustamyan will meet with
National Security Council representatives and conclude his day by
giving a community lecture hosted by the ARF of Greater Washington.

On Thurs., Dec. 10, Rustamyan will meet with representatives of
the Nagorno Karabagh Republic. Additional meetings are planned with
administration officials and with members of Congress, including House
Armenian Issues Caucus co-chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Rustamyan
will then travel to Philadelphia to attend a community reception
hosted by the Philadelphia ARF.

On Fri., Dec. 11, Rustamyan will meet with representatives of the
Providence ARF and attend briefings at the Rhode Island State House.

On his way to Boston, Rustamyan will stop for a visit at Camp Haiastan
in Franklin, Mass., and will speak at a public meeting hosted by the
Boston ARF at 7:30 p.m. at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center
(ACEC) in Watertown.

Rustumyan’s tour will conclude on Sun., Dec. 13 after meeting with
ARF New Jersey members and speaking at the New York ARF’s 119th
anniversary celebration.