Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi he announced on Saturday Heading a congressional delegation to Armenia this weekend, his office said, he became the highest-ranking US official to visit the country since independence in 1991.
The trip is intended to highlight the United States’ unwavering commitment to “a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Armenia and a stable and secure Caucasus region,” the California Democrat said in a statement Saturday.
Pelosi is joined by Democratic lawmakers It’s mentioned on Twitter As “Proud and Longtime Champions of Armenia”: Reps. Frank Pallone of New Jersey and Jackie Speier of California, Chairmen of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Affairs; and Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, a member of the caucus. Speier and Eshoo are of Armenian heritage.
The visit follows deadly clashes along the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan earlier this week. The two former Soviet states have been in a decades-long conflict over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. This week’s violence raised concerns that the two nations could be on the verge of rekindling conflict, but a senior Armenian official said late Wednesday that a truce had been agreed with Azerbaijan.
President Joe Biden last year became the first US president to recognize the massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I as genocide.
In 2019, both the US House and Senate passed a resolution that would “commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and commemoration that the Ottoman Empire killed 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923.”
Turkey has said that the killings are not genocide, saying that it was a time of war and that there were losses on both sides. Turkey also disputes the death toll, which has approached 300,000.
“It is everyone’s moral duty to never forget — a duty that has taken on greater urgency as atrocities are committed around the world, including by Russia against Ukraine,” Pelosi said in a statement Saturday.
He also added that the congressional delegation will meet with Armenian government leaders in the capital city of Yerevan, including Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly Alen Simonyan, as well as members of the security establishment and members of civil society, according to Pelosi.
Pelosi and members of the delegation will hold a news conference Sunday evening local time after their bilateral meeting with Simonyan, her office said. Pelosi is also expected to make remarks at the Cafesjian Center for the Arts to “reaffirm America’s strong support for the Armenian people and their security and democracy,” according to her office.
More recently, Pelosi made another foreign trip, visiting Taiwan in August to show support for the self-governing island; this move greatly angered Beijing and added tension to the US-China relationship.
In response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China announced sanctions against the speaker and her family, suspended cooperation with the US on a number of issues, including climate change talks, and held several military drills across the island.
China’s ruling Communist Party sees Taiwan as part of the country’s territory, though it has never controlled it, and has long vowed to “reunify” the island with mainland China, if necessary by force.