DeFacto Agency, Armenia
May 2 2008


YEREVAN, 02.05.08. DE FACTO. NKR Representative to the United States
Vardan Barseghian spoke at the annual Armenian Genocide Observance on
Capitol Hill that also featured U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(D-CA), Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Senator Bob Menendez
(D-NJ) and other members of Congress, the Press Office of the NKR
office in the USA reports.
To note, the event was organized by the Congressional Caucus on
Armenian Issues, co-chaired by Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe
Knollenberg (R-MI), in cooperation with the Armenian Embassy in
Washington and leading Armenian-American organizations. Armenian
Ambassador Tatoul Markarian, Prelate Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan,
Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, and Dr. Gregory Stanton, President of the
International Association of Genocide Scholars also spoke to the
audience that included Armenian Genocide survivors, human rights
activists, and members of the Armenian community.
In his remarks, Representative Barseghian called upon the United
States to recognize the Armenian Genocide saying that it would "send a
powerful warning signal to those who plan new ethnic cleansing
campaigns that the truth will prevail, that criminal actions will be
named for what they are and that the perpetrators will be condemned
and will bear responsibility."
Tying past crimes against humanity to today's situation, Barseghian
said that the Nagorno Karabakh problem was a direct result of the
Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.
"Weakened by mass killings, deportations and widespread devastation
inflicted by the Ottoman Turks, Armenia was not able to hold on to its
historic province of Artsakh and eventually gave in to the Soviet
pressure to include it within administrative borders of Soviet
Azerbaijan. And the consequences of the Armenian Genocide, including
that particular decision by the Bolsheviks, continue affecting our
lives today, over 90 years later", the Artsakh representative said.
Stressing that the risk of genocide still exists, Barseghian said that
"Azerbaijan continues to threaten Nagorno Karabakh with a new war
because we insist on our right to live in freedom."
"Nagorno Karabakh will continue reinforcing its defense capabilities
to be up to the task, but we would like to see our friends on Capitol
Hill and those who want to see a stable and peaceful South Caucasus to
send a clear signal to Azerbaijan that a new war would not be
tolerated," he said.
On behalf of the NKR Government, Barseghian thanked Representatives
Pallone and Knollenberg and other congressional leaders for their
steadfast support on issues related to Artsakh's security, freedom,
and economic development. He urged greater U.S. political and economic
"We hope that the U.S. Congress will continue its leading role in
charting a new format for relations with Nagorno Karabakh that looks
beyond conflict resolution to collaboration on issues of security,
democracy and economic development."
Concluding his remarks Barseghian said that leaders on Capitol Hill
acknowledged that in "parallel to our common efforts to make this
world genocide-free, we also need to deal with consequences of past
crimes and to support those who still struggle for freedom and