Representative Niki Tsongas pledges continued support for Armenians

Activists with the ANC of Merrimack Valley (ANC-MV) met with Representative Niki Tsongas (D-MA-3) in her district office on Friday, May 23.  ANC of Merrimack Valley co-chairman Aram Jeknavorian, Stephen Dulgarian, and Tom Vartabedian held a successful meeting with the Congresswoman as she reconfirmed her commitment to serving the Armenian population.

“As a member of the Armenian Congressional Caucus, I look forward to our continued work in promoting the mutual interest of our two countries and celebrating our rich history together,” Tsongas noted. “I will work to see that the mass murders of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians are properly recognized as genocide in Congress.”

The meeting served to inform Rep. Tsongas’ on a number of current issues the ANC is focusing on including the critical issue of support for Armenians who were forced to flee Kessab, Syria and are now seeking refuge in Latakia following the March 21 attack by rebels who crossed over the Turkish border.  Additionally, the ANC-MV activists urged Rep. Tsongas to co-sponsor House Resolution 4347- the Turkey Christian Churches Accountability Act- calling for the return of all Christian churches to various minority communities in Turkey.  Other current issues discussed included humanitarian aid to the Republic of Nagorno-Karabagh and greater visibility for the Armenian Orphan Rug, particularly in conjunction with next year’s genocide centennial observances.

“It is important for us to continue to meet with our area representatives and inform them of the critical, time-sensitive issues we are facing as Armenian Americans, especially on the eve of the 100th Anniversary of the Genocide,” stated Jeknavorian.  “We are fortunate to have a strong working relationship with Rep. Tsongas and look forward to her leadership role on our issues.”

Jeknavorian and Dulgarian also reported on the recent unveiling of “A Mother’s Hands,” a monument in remembrance of the victims of the Armenian genocide located on public property at the Lowell City Hall.  Cong. Tsongas’ was unable to attend the dedication ceremony as she was in Afghanistan visiting US troops — a practice she has made each Mother’s Day as a member of the House Armed Services Committee

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