Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
Email. [email protected]
Internet www.anca.org

PRESS RELEASE

November 2, 2009
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


SENATE MAJORITY LEADERS CALLS ON SECRETARY OF STATE
TO MEET WITH ARMENIAN AMERICAN LEADERS


-- In Letter to ANCA-Nevada, Senator Reid Reports that he has
Shared Community Concerns over Protocols with Secretary Clinton


WASHINGTON, DC - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has
formally shared the reservations of the Silver State's Armenian
community regarding the dangers of the recently signed Turkey-
Armenia Protocols with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, reported
the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a October 30, 2009 letter to ANCA-Nevada activist Razmig
Libarian, the Senate leader reported that he had recently written
to Secretary Clinton to pass along the concerns of his state's
citizens of Armenian heritage, and to encourage her to meet
directly with the national leadership of the Armenian American
community regarding the state of Turkey-Armenia relations.

In his letter to Secretary Clinton, dated October 20, 2009, Senator
Reid wrote: "I am sure you are aware that this agreement has raised
concerns in the Armenian community inside the United States. I have
received many letters from Nevadans who do not support the creation
of an international commission to examine the historical record on
the genocide and who believe that the agreements are unfair to
Armenia. (I have included a sample letter below). Given the serious
nature of the community's concerns, I felt it was important to
raise them directly with you. The commission is particularly
sensitive to the Armenian-American community since the Armenian
genocide has never been recognized by Turkey."

Despite the high profile of Armenia-Turkey ties in the Obama-Biden
Administration's foreign policy agenda, neither President Obama nor
Secretary Clinton has met with the Armenian American community
leadership.

The full text of both letters is provided below.

#####


October 30, 2009

Dear Mr. Libarian:

Thank you for contacting me about your concerns regarding relations
between Armenia and Turkey. I appreciate hearing from you.

I have always, and will continue to, recognize the terrible
atrocities that took place in 1915 as genocide. As I said to those
gathered for the Armenian American Cultural Society of Las Vegas'
annual commemoration on April 19, 2009, I believe that the United
States should acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

On September 1, 2009, Armenia and Turkey signed protocols that
expressed a desire to establish diplomatic relations between the
two nations and open the border to trade. Final agreement is
pending the ratification of the protocols by each country's
Parliament. As you note, these protocols also called for the
formation of a commission to study the Armenian genocide.

I certainly appreciate the concerns that you raise in your letter
and believe that it is important that the specifics issues you
raise about the historical commission are taken into consideration.
I recently wrote to Secretary Clinton to let her know about the
concerns I have heard from my constituents on this issue, and
included a sample copy of letters I have received. I also asked her
to meet with the Armenian-American community to discuss these
issues. The full text of my letter to Hilary Clinton is below.

Thank you once again for contacting me, and I hope you will
continue to keep in touch. My best wishes to you.

Sincerely,

HARRY REID
United States Senator
Nevada



TEXT OF SENATOR REID'S LETTER TO SECRETARY CLINTON

October 20, 2009

The Honorable Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State
Department of State
22001 C Street, NW
Room 7226
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am writing about the recent agreement to establish normal
diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia. I know you have
personally been involved in the negotiation of this agreement and
appreciate your attention on the issues I am raising today.

I am sure you are aware that this agreement has raised concerns in
the Armenian community inside the United States. I have received
many letters from Nevadans who do not support the creation of an
international commission to examine the historical record on the
genocide and who believe that the agreements are unfair to Armenia.
(I have included a sample letter below). Given the serious nature
of the community's concerns, I felt it was important to raise them
directly with you. The commission is particularly sensitive to the
Armenian-American community since the Armenian genocide has never
been recognized by Turkey.

I would also respectfully suggest that you meet directly with
Armenian-American groups so they have an opportunity to share their
views with you. Thank you again for your consideration of this
request and your interest in this important national security
issue.

Sincerely,

HARRY REID
United States Senator