GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region Board and Staff met virtually last week with the Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles Ambassador Armen Baibourtian to discuss Azerbaijan’s recent aggression against Armenia, as well as updates on the COVID-19 pandemic in Armenia.
“We thank Ambassador Baibourtian for taking the time to meet with our board and staff and maintaining an open channel of communication particularly during these challenging times.” remarked ANCA-WR Chairperson Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “The ANCA-WR, as the largest Armenian grassroots advocacy organization in the country, is fully committed to supporting our compatriots in Armenia and we look forward to continued dialogue.”
During the meeting, the Ambassador provided a comprehensive update on Azerbaijan’s military aggression against Armenia – noting Azerbaijan’s clear violation of Armenia’s territorial integrity and disregard for international humanitarian law in the targeting of civilian infrastructure in Tavush. The issue of Azerbaijan’s non-compliance with ceasefire and de-escalation protocols was discussed, with Ambassador Baibourtian thanking the ANCA for its work passing the Pallone Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in July to provide greater oversight over US military assistance to Azerbaijan. The Ambassador also highlighted the work of the ANCA in passing the Sherman and Chu amendments to the NDAA in 2019 to prevent Azerbaijan from using US defense articles to shoot down civilian aircraft in Artsakh, and to strengthen the Royce-Engel ceasefire protocols.
Ambassador Baibourtian also provided an update on the improving situation in Armenia with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government’s efforts to continue improving its task of ensuring compliance with containment efforts, as well as the restarting of Armenia’s economy – having recently reopened its borders to tourism.
In turn, the ANCA-WR Board reported on its response to Azerbaijan’s recent aggression against Armenia and the global wave of Azerbaijani aggression incited by the Aliyev government – including its media outreach, social media campaigns, and congressional outreach efforts to inform the public on Azerbaijan’s track record of belligerency and state-sponsored Armenophobia. The ANCA-WR also conveyed to the Consul General the work that had been done at a national level to secure the reprogramming of USAID assistance to Armenia to support COVID-19 relief efforts.
The ANCA-WR joined the Ambassador’s intention to maintain an open line of communication, and to further engage with the Armenian community in Los Angeles – the most concentrated Armenian population outside of Yerevan itself – to explore further opportunities for cooperation and partnership.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.