YEREVAN,OCTOBER 11,ARMENPRESS: Armenian-Americans for Mitt Romney coalition launches works to assist US Presidential Republican Nominee Mitt Romney in November 6 Presidential Elections and expect him to support them over Armenian issues solution. Taniel Koushakjian, Armenian-Americans for Mitt Romney collation manager came forth with commentaries. Armenpress had an interview with Taniel Koushakjian, collation manager over the scheduled meeting with US Presidential Nominees and the envisaging of Armenian issues with them.
-Armenian Community has expressed willingness to meet USA Incumbent President Barack Obama and Presidential Nominee, Republican Mitt Romney. Have they somehow recalled to your suggestion?
Despite repeated requests by Armenian-American community leaders, such as the Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian National Committee and AGBU among others, President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have not met with them. While some members of the Armenian-American community have met Governor Romney on the campaign trail, there has not been a formal request for community leaders to meet with him. Both us, Armenian-Americans for Mitt Romney Coalition, and the Armenian National Committee have requested a statement from Governor Romney on Armenian issues.
-What expectations does Armenian Community have from Mitt Romney and Barack Obama? Whom our compatriots favor more?
Like all Americans, we expect leadership, honesty and values from our elected officials. When it comes to Armenian issues, President Obama failed to live up to his campaign pledge to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide as President. That calls into question his honesty. President Obama’s nomination and subsequent recess appoint of Matthew Bryza to serve as Ambassador to Azerbaijan was opposed by Senators of his own party, not to mention many Armenian-Americans. That calls into question his ability to lead. And the silence of President Obama on the destruction, confiscation and profiteering of Christian Armenian religious properties by the Turkish Government as well as Azerbaijans completed destruction of Armenian Khachkars at Old Julfa, call into question his values. Based on discussions with various Armenian-Americans, most sharing their disappointment and converted support of Governor Romney, it looks like the Armenian-American community is leaning toward the Republican nominee. However, in the absence of a formal statement from Governor Romney’s campaign on Armenian issues, it will be more difficult to fully convert and turn out Armenian voters for him. What Armenian Community expected from President Obama that he failed to implement? Live up to his campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide as President, Open the Turkish-Armenian border, Advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the , OSCE Minsk Group on the basis of international law, self-determination of , peoples and the reality on the ground, Maintain parity in military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan.
-Is the number of Armenian Genocide supporters expected to increase in the House of Representatives?
This will only be known after Election Day. As it stands today the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues has 136 Members, while the Congressional Turkish Caucus boasts 150. Both sides are expected to loose about a dozen members, including many who have already announced retirement, candidacy for other office, or who fell victim to the once a decade Congressional redistricting process. Based on an analysis from January the Armenian Caucus was set to loose 9 Members of Congress and the Turkish Caucus was set to loose 7, but there have been more announced retirements, and a few incumbents who lost their primary election, such as pro-Turkey Jean Schmidt (R-OH) who lost to a Tea Party challenger.
-What expectations do you have on Armenian Genocide recognition from US Presidential nominees, especially in connection with Mitt Romney you are favoring?
Armenian-Americans expect the President of the United States to assist the government of Turkey to end its blockade of Armenia; Armenian-Americans expect the President of the United States to ensure that the foreign policy of the US reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. We also expect the President of the United States to advance Turkish acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide; Armenian-Americans expect a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the principles of democracy and self-determination of people; Armenian-Americans expect closer cooperation between the US-Armenia on issues related to social, economic and military spheres.
-What kind of questions will be raised in the launched meetings with both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney?
We look forward to the opportunity to discuss these issues directly with winner of the November 6 elections.
Interview by Mary Khalatyan
From right in the photo is Taniel Koushakjian with Paul Ryan, Republican US vice-presidential candidate.
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