Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th St., NW, Suite 904
Washington, DC 20006
Tel: (202) 775-1918
Fax: (202) 775-5648
E-mail: [email protected]
Internet: www.anca.org

PRESS RELEASE
July 6, 2004
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


ANCA WELCOMES SEN. KERRY'S CHOICE FOR
DEMOCRATIC VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE

-- Sen. Edwards Outspoken in Favor of U.S. Recognition of
Armenian Genocide; Lifting of Turkish Blockade of Armenia

WASHINGTON, DC - The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
today welcomed the presumptive Democratic Presidential Nominee John
Kerry's announcement of Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) as his Vice-
Presidential running mate.

"The ANCA welcomes John Kerry's choice of John Edwards - a friend
of Armenian Americans in North Carolina and around the nation - as
his running-mate," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
"The contrast between Senator Edwards and sitting Vice President
Dick Cheney could not be more stark. John Edwards has consistently
taken a stand for Armenian issues, while Dick Cheney - as Chairman
of Halliburton and later as Vice President - has consistently,
often stridently, opposed issues of concern to Armenian American
voters."

Sen. Edwards, currently finishing his first term in the Senate, has
been a staunch supporter of Armenian American concerns. In 2002,
he cosponsored the S.Res.307, marking the 15th anniversary of the
U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention. He was an original
cosponsor of a similar bill currently in Congress, S.Res.164,
spearheaded by Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ),
which currently has 39 cosponsors.

During his run for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Sen.
Edwards met with ANCA activists in May of 2003, at a private
reception held in Los Angeles in his honor. There ANCA-WR Chairman
Raffi Hamparian and Board Member Steven J. Dadaian discussed issues
of concern to the Armenian American community with the Senator.
Hamparian spoke to Senator Edwards about Turkey's illegal blockade
of Armenia, to which Edwards responded that the "wrongful blockade"
must end, stressing that America has to stand behind Armenia and
let its neighbors know that "We [America] stand fully behind
Armenia." In a statement before reception attendees, Edwards
explained that it is in America's interest to recognize the
Armenian Genocide and added that "It is the just thing to do. It is
about time we [Americans] recognized it."

Sen. Edwards' positions on Armenian American concerns contrasts
sharply to Republican Vice-presidential nominee Dick Cheney's
record. During his years serving in the U.S. Congress, Cheney
voted against resolutions commemorating the Armenian Genocide both
in 1985 and 1987. In 1995, he joined the Halliburton Company, an
oil and energy services corporation, and after his appointment as
Chairman of the Board in 1996, worked extensively with the
government of Azerbaijan in oil exploration ventures. He was a
vocal advocate of efforts to repeal restrictions on U.S. aid to
Azerbaijan despite that country's ongoing blockades of Armenia and
Nagorno Karabagh. In a keynote speech at a U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber
of Commerce (USACC) conference on February 18, 1997, Cheney stated:

"I must also say that I believe that our current policy prohibiting
U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan is seriously misguided. In my
experience, this kind of unilateral sanction, based primarily on
U.S. domestic political considerations, is unwise. Such a policy
limits U.S. influence in any given situation, and in this case, it
reduces rather than enhances the prospects for ultimately resolving
a very complex and important set of regional issues."

In 1997, Cheney, who was a member of the USACC "Honorary Council of
Advisors," was awarded its "Freedom Support" award, for his
"outstanding services to this organization [USACC] as well as
contribution toward promoting peace, democracy, freedom and
economic development in Azerbaijan and a closer cooperation between
the United States and Azerbaijan."

For more information about the Kerry-Edwards ticket, visit:
http://ArmeniansforKerry.com