The leaders of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues are collecting the signatures of their U.S. House colleagues on a bipartisan letter encouraging President Donald Trump to meet with Armenia’s new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan during the United Nations summit in New York this September, as part of a broader expansion of U.S.-Armenian dialogue aimed at further integrating Armenia into the international economic system and increasing U.S.-Armenia bilateral trade and investment, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We are encouraged by all the new opportunities for more robust U.S. cooperation with Armenia’s new government, and join with our Congressional friends in encouraging the Administration to pro-actively strengthen our bilateral ties—with a special focus on the sustainable growth of mutually-beneficial economic relations,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
The ANCA’s U.S.-Armenia economic policy priorities include 1) a $140 million MCC Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math grant for Armenia’s public schools, 2) a modern Tax Treaty to eliminate double taxation and promote financial transparency, 3) a Social Security Agreement to protect benefits earned by people who divide their careers between the U.S. and Armenia, 4) non-stop commercial and cargo flights from Los Angeles to Yerevan, and 5) maximizing the effectiveness of the existing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council and the U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force.
In a “Dear Colleague” letter to their Congressional colleagues, the Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dave Trott (R-MI), and David Valadao (R-CA) and Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), wrote, “since being elected into office by Parliament, Prime Minister Pashinyan has committed himself to advancing Armenian issues both domestically and internationally and has stated his intent to deepen ties with the United States. Without question, a conversation between President Trump and Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasizing economic development, security and democracy is critical for a strong pivot towards a strategic partnership between our countries.”
Also, ANCA publicized the text of the Congressional Armenian Caucus letter to President Trump, and in which the Caucus members urge the U.S. President to meet with the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, while he is visiting the United States in September for the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Additionally, they request from Trump a series of high-level conversations between his Cabinet Secretaries and their counterparts in Armenia. As per the petitioning Caucus members, these meetings would help to establish a critical bridge between the two countries, helping to further increase Armenia’s inclusion in the international system and likely leading to more comprehensive US-Armenian bilateral trade.
“We believe that the peaceful protests witnessed during the Velvet Revolution [in Armenia] can be a model for nations seeking democracy around the world,” the letter also reads, in particular.