As legislators were completing work for the 114th Congress, Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) Executive Director Bryan Ardouny was on the Hill meeting with Members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues this month recapping the year and discussing priorities for the 115th Congress.
During his meeting with Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Ardouny discussed initiatives for the 115th Congress. He also reiterated the Assembly’s deep concerns regarding the atrocities Azerbaijan committed during the military offensive it launched during the April War, as further reported by Nagorno Karabakh’s Ombudsman, Ruben Melikyan.
According to the latest investigations, 3 out of the 31 incidences detailed in the report were citizens and not servicemen, including a 92-year-old grandmother who was also tortured. The report also identified 3 Nagorno Karabakh servicemen who were beheaded, noting that one was executed by ISIS-style decapitation then publicized on social media as a “trophy.” The Azerbaijani officer who showcased this Armenian soldier’s head was then given a military award from Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev.
In his meeting with Armenian Caucus Vice Co-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who serves as the Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a wide range of issues were discussed, including expanding the Caucus as well as strengthening U.S-Armenia relations.
“As we look ahead to 2017, U.S. leadership remains essential in addressing the challenges before us,” Ardouny stated. “The Armenian Caucus, with its bipartisan leadership team, will play a pivotal role and we anticipate a very active and energized Caucus as we continue to advance important priorities in the new Congress and Administration,” he added.