Armenian National Committee of New Jersey
461 Bergen Blvd.
Ridgefield, NJ 07657
Contact: Kim Arzoumanian
Tel: 201 945 0011
Fax: 718 651 3637
E-mail: [email protected]


ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ - On September 12, members of the New Jersey
Armenian community gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Raffi
Keshishian for a reception and fundraiser hosted by the Armenian
National Committee (ANC) of New Jersey for Congressman Frank Pallone,
Jr. (D-NJ). Attended by over 70 well wishers and supporters, the
reception and fundraiser provided an opportunity for the ANC of New
Jersey to thank Rep. Pallone for his unwavering support on issues of
concern to the Armenian-American community.

Among those in attendance was Very Rev. Father Shahe Panossian, Pastor
of Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church in Ridgefield, as well as
Mr. Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA in Washington DC,
Mr. Doug Geogerian, Executive Director of the ANCA regional office
in New York, and Ms. Kim Arzoumanian, ANC of New Jersey Chairperson.

Kim Arzoumanian begun by thanking Rep. Pallone on behalf of the
community for his critical role in advancing the Armenian Cause in
the halls of Congress, and for his outstanding leadership as co-chair
of the Armenian-American Congressional Caucus.

Congressman Pallone went on to discussed major issues of importance
to the community, focusing on the successful passage in the House of
the Schiff Amendment, which would forbid the government of Turkey
to use U.S. foreign aid in its lobby effort to deny the Armenian
Genocide. He talked about the Bush Administration's attempt to reduce
the fiscal year 2005 foreign aid allocation to Armenia and eliminate
it completely for Artsakh, and discussed how friends in Congress helped
push the aid amounts from the $62 million Bush wanted for Armenia back
up to $65 million with $5 million for Artsakh. Pallone mentioned how
members of Congress were successful in stopping President Bush from
breaking his promise not to favor Azerbaijan over Armenia in granting
military aid. The $8 million allotment to Azerbaijan and $2 million
to Armenia was changed by the House to $5 million for each country.

On the matter of upcoming presidential elections, Congressman Pallone
credited the Armenian-American community for its important role
in supporting the candidacy of Democratic presidential challenger
Senator John Kerry. The ANCA endorsed Kerry based the Senator's
stellar record on Armenian issues over the past twenty years. The
Massachusetts Senator has forcefully fought for U.S. recognition
of the Armenian Genocide, has been a vocal and effective champion
of stronger U.S.-Armenia relations and has consistently backed
legislative initiatives to increase aid and expand trade with
Armenia. He is currently a cosponsor of legislation, S.1557, which
would grant Armenia permanent normal trade relations status. Senator
Kerry has repeatedly spearheaded initiatives to lift the Turkish and
Azerbaijani blockades. In 1991, he was the lead sponsor of Section 907
of the Freedom Support Act, which restricts U.S. aid to the government
of Azerbaijan until it lifted its blockades of Armenia and Nagorno
Karabagh. As recently as this January, Senator Kerry formally called
on President Bush to press the visiting Prime Minister of Turkey to
lift his nation's illegal blockade of Armenia.

Rep. Pallone also noted that in sharp contrast, George W. Bush has
broken his promises and repeatedly betrayed the trust of the Armenian
American community, opposed the issues they care about, and presided
over the most anti-Armenian administration in modern history. Almost
immediately after taking office in 2001, he abandoned his campaign
pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.

"Congressman Frank Pallone is a member of Congress who is a true friend
to the Armenian community," noted Ms. Arzoumanian as she presented
a gift of the Armenian language learning program "Discover Armenian"
to the Congressman on behalf of the ANC of New Jersey.