Blog Archives

ICHRRF Issues Official Statement Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – On February 1, 2022, the International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom (ICHRRF) released the following statement in support of the remembrance of the Armenian Genocide:

“As an organization founded on the principles of universal brotherhood, cooperation, mutual respect, compassion, and respect for basic human rights and religious freedom, the ICHRRF is fully committed to promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms as the critical values connecting Humanity. Hence the organization stands for upholding the dignity of victims of genocide and other atrocity crimes and pursuing justice for these acts.

“During the first World War, the Ottoman Turkish Islamic Caliphate systematically annihilated around 1.5 million Armenian Christian citizens. It is sometimes called the first genocide of the 20th century. The Armenian Genocide took place more than 100 years ago. However, the systematic killing of civilian men, women and children is not just in the past.

“ICHRRF applauds the US President Joe Biden’s decision to officially recognize the 1.5 million Armenians who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide during World War I. This is a much wanted initial bold step towards acknowledging the truth, history, and invaluable support for all the victims of hatred, religious atrocities, ethnic cleansing and systematic annihilation campaigns against vulnerable communities around the globe.

“Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Caliphate Empire still denies this crime against humanity. Thirty-one countries, so far, have recognized the Armenian genocide and urged Turkey to take responsibility for this heinous crime. However, many nations refuse to recognize the killings as genocide, fearing a fallout in the strategic alliance with Turkey. We urge Turkey, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and other countries that deny Armenian genocide to step up to the stark historical facts and stop indulging in shameful genocide denial for political convenience. It is imperative for all societies to openly acknowledge complicated national history to prevent group-targeted violence from happening anymore in 21st century.”

ICHRRF is a US-based non-profit organization focused on promoting human rights, religious and philosophical freedom and a polycentric worldview through continuous monitoring, education, policy research and collaboration.

Last month, the ICHRRF hosted FLArmenians.com Founder Taniel Koushakjian for an online presentation on “The Armenian Genocide and its Continued Denial by Perpetrators” as part of ICHRRF’s #SpeakingUpSeries on human rights and religious freedom.

Armenian American Community Bids Farewell to Armenian Ambassador to the U.S.

Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan gives his farewell address at the Armenian Embassy, Washington, DC. July 19, 2021.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian Embassy in Washington, DC hosted a farewell reception on Monday, July 19, for Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan and his family, upon the completion of his tenure as the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the United States of America. Ambassador Varuzhan Nersesyan has been reassigned as Ambassador to Great Britain, effective August 1.

FLArmenians.com Editor Taniel Koushakjian and Amb. Nersesyan

Participants wishing Ambassador Nersesyan farewell included officials from U.S. State Department, Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Armenian Caucus Vice-Chair Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of Armenia to the U.S. Ara Margarian, Los Angeles Consul General Ambassador Dr. Armen Baibourtian, Armenia’s Honorary Consul in Fresno Berj Apkarian, Armenia’s Honorary Consul in Chicago Oscar Tatosian, Nagorno Karabakh representative to the United States Robert Avetisyan, former U.S. Secretary of Navy Paul Ignatius, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans, Middlesex County (Massachusetts) Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, current and former State Department staff, Archbishop of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of American (Eastern) Bishop Daniel Findikyan, and Armenian American community leaders from the greater Washington, DC metro area.

Bishop Daniel Findikyan speaking at Ambassador Nersesyan’s Farewell.

Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan opened the program, followed by Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Bureau of European and Eurasian affairs of State Department John Armstrong, Rep. Speier, and Ambassador Nersesyan.

Bishop Findikyan spoke of the personal friendship that emerged between Ambassador Nersesyan, Bishop Daniel, and Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian during their weekly conference calls. “The Ambassador initiated these weekly meetings when he first took up his role in the U.S., during which we would update one another on current events in Armenia and in our communities. It’s been a great privilege to cultivate such a close relationship.” He blessed the Nersesyan family as the Ambassador moves on to a new mission in service to our homeland.

Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan, Bishop Daniel Findikyan, and Taniel Koushakjian

In his remarks Ambassador Nersesyan reflected about his mission in the USA in his capacity as an Ambassador of Armenia, highlighting some landmark achievements including: Armenian Genocide recognition; a new elevated format of Armenia-US bilateral relations and strategic dialogue; cultural diplomacy through Armenian Odyssey, and the upcoming exhibition on Artsakh at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. He also emphasized challenges caused by COVID-19 and Azeri-Turkish aggression against Artsakh/Nagorno Karabakh during the past year.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Taniel Koushakjian

“The Armenian American community is grateful to the service and many contributions that ambassador Nersessian spearheaded and implemented during his brief but successful tenure as Armenia’s ambassador to the United States. We congratulate him on his accomplishments and wish him and his family the best in their next assignment.” stated FLArmenians.com Editor Taniel Koushakjian.

Rep. David Valadao Named Armenian Caucus Co-Chair for 117th Congress

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) and Taniel Koushakjian at the National Press Club, Washington, DC

WASHINGTON DC – On January 26, 2021, Congressman David G. Valadao was named a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.

“Armenia is a nation so many of my constituents know and love,” said Congressman Valadao. “During my time in Congress, I introduced several resolutions formally recognizing the Ottoman Empire’s deportation and extermination of over two million Armenian people and, after years of Armenian-American advocacy for this cause, the House and the Senate finally passed H.Res.296, Affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide. However, my fight on behalf of my Armenian-American constituents must continue. Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh recently faced attacks from Azerbaijani forces in violation of their decade-old ceasefire agreement. This kind of aggression is unacceptable and must end immediately. I am committed to working with my colleagues in Congress on this issue and other issues of importance to the Armenian-American community as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. We must continue to advocate for the Armenian people and encourage the new Administration to maintain and strengthen relationships between the United States, Armenia, and Artsakh [Nagorno Karabakh].”

“The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues has always operated in a bipartisan fashion, and I know our current co-chairs will continue this tradition,” stated Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ). “I’m confident we will work together to ensure the United States strengthens its relationship with Armenia and supports its young, democratically elected government that was shaken by last year’s devastating aggressions by Azeri and Turkish forces in the region. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Caucus to ensure the incoming Secretaries of State and Defense are focused on reassessing our strategic relationships in the Caucasus region, upholding the principle of human rights, and holding bad actors like Turkish President Erdogan accountable.”

“We’re very pleased to welcome Congressman Valadao back to Congress and even more excited that he is rejoining the leadership of the Congressional Armenian Caucus. His deep knowledge of the history of the Armenian people and of the current challenges the young Republics of Armenia and Artsakh face will do well in representing his Armenian American constituents and the broader community in the years ahead,” stated FLArmenians.com Editor Taniel Koushakjian.

Congressman Valadao joins Armenian Caucus co-chairs Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Vice-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).