Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Judy Chu Had Meetings in the Republic of Artsakh Parliament
08 October 2019

October 8, Ashot Ghulyan received US Congresswomen, Co-Chairs of the Committee on Armenian Issues Jackie Speier and Judy Chu, who arrived in the Republic of Artsakh accompanied by the Republic of Armenia National Assembly Deputy, Head of the Armenia-US Friendship Group Lilit Makunts, RA NA Deputy  Sos Avetisyan and the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh to the USA Robert Avetisyan.

Welcoming the guests the NA President expressed gratitude for their work on solving the problems of the Armenian community of Artsakh, Armenia and the United States. The Head of the Parliament congratulated Jackie Speier on receiving the Armenian Assembly award and noted:

“The long-term work you have done for the benefit of the solving the problems of the Armenians, has been properly evaluated.''

The Head of the Parliament highly appreciated Judy Chu's work in Congress, noting that her initiative in US national defense legislation is important in terms of maintaining security and peace in the region, which is crucial in shaping the future of the peoples of the region. Congressman Jackie Speier thanked for the reception and noted that much remains to be done to protect the interests of Artsakh, and in this respect the Artsakh people can trust them.

Judy Chu also thanked for the reception and presented her initiative to amend the Law on National Defense adopted by the House of Representatives and aimed at strengthening the ceasefire regime and establishing appropriate mechanisms for its maintenance.

Issues related to demining activities and further cooperation programs in Artsakh were discussed during the meeting.

Republic of Artsakh NA Vice-President  Vahram Balayan, Deputy Foreign Minister Armine Aleksanyan and Chief of Staff for the congresswoman Jackie Speyer,  Josh Connelly.

Representatives of the Congress then met with the heads of the NA standing committees and factions.

During the meeting, the Speaker of Parliament noted that Artsakh is open for cooperation and expects international organizations, including American structures, not only to carry out remote monitoring of the situation of freedom and democracy, but also to work directly with the civil society of Artsakh, to support the improvement of democratic institutions.

"People living in Artsakh have the same rights and freedoms as people living in any country, and any restrictions on political status are unacceptable. Therefore, I hope that our honorable Congressmen will also pay attention to this issue of importance not less than security, "Ashot Ghoulyan.

Speaking about the Armenian Genocide and the genocides taking place in different parts of the world today, Jackie Speier said they should do everything possible to prevent them.  Referring to Artsakh, she noted:

"I am confident in my efforts and I will continue to do everything possible for you to live in your country, have a predictable future, be safe and have that future, which you seek as part of Armenia. "

Judy Chu presented to Artsakh parliamentarians her legislative initiative on national defense, which has to be discussed in the US Senate.

"We hope that the United States will help strengthen peace in the region," Judy Chu stressed.

Lilit Makunts, Deputy of the RA National Assembly, thanking the Congressmen for the important work, touched upon the humanitarian assistance provided by the US to Armenia and Artsakh, particularly emphasizing the importance of the US Government's demining program in Artsakh. He expressed the hope that after the completion of the program the funds will be directed to other important initiatives in Artsakh.

During the meeting NA deputy, head of the "Renaissance" faction Hayk Khanumyan reminded about the American-implemented programs in the sphere of health and infrastructure development in Artsakh villages and offered to support development programs.

In the morning at the Stepanakert airport the delegation was greeted by the Vice-President of the National Assembly Vahram Balayan and the Deputy Chair of the NA Standing Committee on Foreign Relations Davit Melkumyan.