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Nagorno Karabakh Representative Visits Florida International University

MIAMI, FL – On his first official visit to South Florida, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan gave a lecture at Florida International University (FIU) earlier this month. Students and professors of the FIU International Relations and Political Science Departments attended the event. Several FIU Armenian students were also on hand.

“It was a pleasure to meet Mr. Avetisyan in South Florida and welcome him to Florida International University (FIU) to discuss further development of Artsakh’s recognition and raising awareness of investment opportunities in Artsakh Republic,” stated FIU graduate student and FLArmenians Broward County Chair Gevorg Shahbazyan. “I believe that at FIU, and other universities across North America, it is essential to educate the public about Artsakh’s democratic progress and self-determination,” Shahbazyan said.

[READ: Florida Armenians Host Economic Roundtable Discussion on Nagorno Karabakh in Miami]

During the lecture, Mr. Avetisyan briefed guests on the history of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, the current situation in the settlement process, as well as regional developments.

FIU International Relations students with Mr. Avetisyan

At the end of the meeting, the Artsakh Representative answered numerous questions of the lecturers and students related to the peaceful settlement of the conflict, the international recognition of Artsakh, and the state-building process.

FLArmenians Broward County Chair Gevorg Shahbazyan, Artsakh Representative Robert Avetisyan, FIU Professor Alex Barder, FLArmenians Founder Taniel Koushakjian beneath the Artsakh Republic flag.

During his time at FIU, Mr. Avetisyan visited the flags of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the Republic of Armenia, which are prominently displayed at the FIU Graham Center on campus.

[READ: Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh Flags Raised at Florida International University]

FIU Professor Misak Sargsian, Artsakh Representative Robert Avetisyan, FLArmenians Broward County Chair Gevorg Shahbazyan, and FLArmenians Founder Taniel Koushakjian on the campus of FIU.

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Florida Armenians Host Economic Roundtable Discussion on Nagorno Karabakh in Miami

MIAMI, FL – On Thursday, April 13, Florida Armenians hosted Mr. Robert Avetisyan, Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic/Artsakh to the United States, for an economic roundtable discussion on Artsakh. Held in downtown Miami’s Brickell Financial District, Mr. Avetisyan presented the current business climate, economic development, and investment opportunities in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic/Artsakh.

“I was glad to have the opportunity to meet with business owners in South Florida,” stated Avetisyan. “Artsakh becomes increasingly attractive for investors, and we hope that our compatriots from Florida will take an active part in Artsakh’s continued success. I want to thank Florida Armenians for arranging this important meeting, and hope for continued cooperation over a range of issues on our common agenda in the future,” Avetisyan said.

The roundtable was attended by several South Florida business leaders, attorneys, and government relations professionals. Mr. Avetisyan briefed them on the economic growth of Artsakh 25 years after its independence from the Soviet Union. Participants expanded their knowledge of Artsakh’s leading industries such as agriculture, banking, construction, and the emerging hydroelectric energy field. Avetisyan also discussed regional trade mechanisms, their liberal free-market economy, and the high level of political stability in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic/Artsakh. Florida Armenians founder Taniel Koushakjian moderated the discussion.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Mr. Avetisyan and discuss Karabakh’s economic environment and future,” stated Florida Armenians Miami Chairman Harout Samra. “Economic growth is vital to Karabakh’s continued security and the government appears to be working to create a pro-investment environment,” he said.

Armenian Advocacy Groups: Contact White House, Congress

By Taniel Shant
FLArmenians Political Contributor

Armenian American advocacy groups, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) and the Armenian National Committee (ANC), are currently urging the Armenian American community to voice their concerns to the federal government.

Last month, both groups issued ‘Action Alerts’ on issues of concern to the over 1 million strong Armenian American community. Here in Florida, there are approximately 30,000 Armenian Americans.

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With the inauguration of the President Donald J. Trump and the start of the 115th Congress, the groups called on their respective members to take action to boost the Armenian Caucus membership, express opinions regarding the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General and Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, as well as contacting the Trump Administration to advance Armenian American policy priorities for 2017.

Prior to the calls for action, both the Assembly and ANC sent congratulatory messages to President Trump on his election (see the Assembly letter here and the ANC letter here).

The Assembly, an independent, non-partisan, Washington, D.C.-based organization, urged members to send messages to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding nominees Sessions and Tillerson. Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate last week and Sessions is expected to be approved this week.

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The Assembly is currently seeking to boost the bi-partisan Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, which currently stands at 87 Members of Congress, a historic low. “The 115th Congress is at work, and we are turning to you to urge your Representative to join the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues,” read the Assembly statement. “We need to expand the Armenian Caucus to counter growing opposition, and hostility in the region. Our goal is to increase the number of Members who will speak up for the rights of the people of Armenia and Artsakh. Please urge your Representative to join the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues,” read the Assembly alert.

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The ANC, the U.S. arm of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, a Yerevan-based Armenian political party, issued calls to its membership to outline key policy priorities to the Trump White House. “Ask President Trump to support Armenia,” reads the ANC alert. The ANC outlined three key policy areas: “Properly commemorating the Armenian Genocide as a clear case of genocide challenging Turkey’s obstruction of justice for this still unpunished crime and more broadly rejecting Turkey’s efforts to control U.S. policy on Armenian issues; Advancing a durable and democratic peace in the Caucasus by recognizing and supporting the independent Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and; Growing the U.S.-Armenia economic military and political partnership and supporting a secure prosperous and democratic Armenia.”

You can take action on the Assembly and ANC alerts here and here.

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