Armenian Assembly Visits Utah Congressional Delegation

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Congressman Matheson Pledges To Join Armenian Caucus

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — With attention focused on the House Foreign Affairs Committee vote on the Armenian Genocide resolution, the Armenian Assembly of America’s Western Region office continued its outreach in the weeks and days leading up to the vote.

In addition to ongoing efforts with the Members of the California delegation, Western Region Director Yeghig Keshishian traveled to Utah for district meetings with Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Jim Matheson (D-UT) to discuss H. Res. 252, the Armenian Genocide resolution, as well as the importance of the US-Armenia relationship.

During the meeting with Matheson, the Assembly team, lead by Keshishian, thanked him for his support as Matheson is currently the only member from the Utah Congressional delegation who has cosponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution.  

Matheson pledged to join the Armenian Caucus as an added sign of support. While Bishop is not yet a cosponsor of the Armenian Genocide resolution, he is a member of the Armenian Caucus. Keshishian met with Bishop to enlist his support of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. 

In the face of the relentless campaign to deny the incontrovertible fact of the Armenian Genocide, and the proud chapter of America’s humanitarian intervention to save the survivors, Keshishian reiterated the importance to properly recognize this crime against humanity to help prevent future genocides.

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Keshishian stressed the moral importance behind seeing this resolution passed during his visit with Chaffetz earlier in the week. Chaffetz is no stranger to Armenian issues, having served as campaign manager and later as chief of staff for former Utah governor, now US ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman Jr.

In the aftermath of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, Jon Huntsman Sr. became a leading international advocate on behalf of the people of Armenia, providing food relief to over 500,000 Armenians left homeless from the tragedy. Over the years, the Huntsman family has donated nearly $20 million in relief and assistance to the Republic of Armenia; and, in 2007, the Huntsman family established 13 scholarships for students from Armenia to attend Utah State University over a four-year period.

Accompanying Keshishian to the district meetings were representatives from the Armenian Hyrenik Youth Organization (AHYO) Board — including, Karine Sargsian and former Assembly Yerevan Interns Natalie Torosyan and Zaven Sargsian. “AHYO is grateful to the Armenian Assembly and Yeghig Keshishian for his recent visit to Utah.  We share the same level of importance in raising awareness of Armenian issues in Utah, believing that our joint efforts will lead to tangible benefits for the diaspora,” stated Sargsian.