Assembly Hosts Special Washington Event with Mexican Ambassador

December 11, 2009
Contact: Press Department
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (202) 393-3434


Washington, DC – As part of its annual tradition, the greater
Washington, DC Armenian community came together this past weekend at the
Armenian Embassy for the Armenian Assembly’s annual holiday reception
and briefing. This year’s reception featured a special guest, His
Excellency Arturo Sarukhan, Mexico’s Ambassador to the United States.
The descendant of Armenian Genocide survivors, Ambassador Sarukhan has
served as Mexico’s envoy to the United States since 2007.

In opening remarks, event chairperson Annie Totah thanked Assembly
Chairman Hirair Hovnanian for his vision and leadership in securing and
donating the historic building that houses the Armenian Embassy. Totah
also thanked the members of the local community for their continued
support and generosity to the Assembly. Totah provided an overview of
the Armenian Assembly’s pioneering work throughout the decades, since
its founding in 1972.

Totah also introduced His Excellency Tatoul Markarian, Armenia’s
ambassador to the United States, who welcomed the standing-room-only
crowd and highlighted the critically important work of the Armenian
Assembly. He then introduced his friend and diplomatic counterpart from

The evening’s honored guest, His Excellency Ambassador Sarukhan provided
a strategic overview of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and drew
interesting parallels between the Mexican and Armenian Diasporas in
America and the important role they play in the United States.
Ambassador Sarukhan concluded by expressing his commitment to continue
to build ties among our respective communities.

Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny also addressed the audience.
He conveyed the concerns shared by all with respect to Turkey’s
continued denial of the Armenian Genocide and attempts to link progress
on Nagorno Karabakh to progress between Armenia-Turkey rapprochement.
Ardouny reiterated the Assembly’s position that "U.S. affirmation of the
Armenian Genocide should not be held hostage to the establishment of
normal relations."

Foreshadowing the meeting between President Barack Obama and Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ardouny stated that it "represents
an important opportunity for the United States to hold Turkey
accountable to its public commitments, as well as help Turkey come to
terms with its genocidal past." Regardless of the outcome of the
meeting, Ardouny urged those present to redouble their commitment as the
Assembly continues its "work in Congress to maximize our efforts for the
betterment of the people of Armenia and Artsakh."

Guests also enjoyed a musical interlude by Carlos Bonilla and Naira
Babayan-Bonilla, whose piano performance concluded with Aram
Khatchaturian’s famous Sabre Dance.

"It was a fantastic evening, and I would like to thank the superb
efforts of the local host committee, as well as Ambassador Markarian for
making the Embassy available," said event chair Totah. "I would
especially like to thank our honored speaker, Ambassador Sarukhan for
his riveting and insightful address. I was also impressed to see a
strong turnout of dedicated young professionals, who will take us to new
heights in the future," Totah continued.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding
and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt
membership organization.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS