September 14, 2013 – 11:07 AMT
After over 5 months of planning, a bipartisan delegation of prominent California elected officials and representatives from the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) will travel to Armenia and Artsakh this week to meet with influential figures across Armenia’s and NKR’s political spectrum and obtain first-hand understanding of the rich and dynamic cultures. The visit is scheduled to take place from Sept 15 to Sept 24.
“The California State legislative delegation to Armenia is a long overdue and groundbreaking development. We are very pleased that Speaker Perez and a bipartisan group of legislators will be arriving in our country at the invitation of the Governments of Armenia and Artsakh. We are hopeful that this first in kind mission would leave a lasting impact and contribute to strengthening political contacts between the Republic of Armenia and the great State of California – home to hundreds of thousands of compatriots,” stated former Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Grigor Hovhannissian. “The legislative trip to Armenia is an important project I am involved in as Armenia’s Consul General and I would like to seize this opportunity to thank all our partners and friends, including the ANCA Western Region who helped us in making this project possible,” added Hovhannissian.
In an effort to be better acquainted with one another prior to the trip and to provide the state delegation with an opportunity to obtain logistical answers about the trip, Consul General Hovhannissian and ANCA-WR representatives traveled to Sacramento on Monday, Sept 9 for a pre-trip orientation. The meeting, filled with enthusiasm and excitement, also gave way for participants to review the over 120 page packet that outlined a hefty itinerary for the visit filled with meetings with officials and historic site visits as well as background information on Armenia, Nagorno Karabakh, the Armenian Genocide, and current issues within the region.
“The gathering of representatives from both the State of California and the City of Los Angeles governments is an important step in strengthening the ties with the Republic of Armenia. I am pleased to have the largest Armenian American political organization in the United States, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), as part of this traveling delegation to the Republic of Armenia. I look forward to continue working with the ANCA in building a greater relationship between the Republic of Armenia, the California State Assembly and the Armenian American Diaspora. Promoting further awareness of issues pertinent to Armenia is an integral part of my responsibility as both a State Assemblyman and as an Armenian-American,” noted Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.
“We are pleased to have actively participated in the planning and facilitation of this historic trip and are grateful for the hospitality and initiative of the Armenian Government as well as CA Assembly Members Adrin Nazarian and Katcho Achadjian who worked hand in hand to make this possible,” stated ANCA Western Region Chair Nora Hovsepian. “We are proud to serve as a bridge between government representatives and the people of California and Armenia and are looking forward to what promises to be a very memorable trip that will set the foundation for similar visits with other officials in the future,” added Hovsepian.
Delegation Participants include: Speaker John A. Pèrez, Speaker of the California State Assembly; Honorable Katcho Achadjian, California State Assembly; Honorable Cheryl R. Brown, California State Assembly; Honorable Adrin Nazarian, California State Assembly; Honorable Scott Wilk, California State Assembly; Honorable Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Council; Honorable Paul Krekorian, Los Angeles City Council; Ms. Nora Hovsepian, Chair, Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region; Ms. Elen Asatryan, Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region; Mr. Dan Savage, Chief of Staff, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian; Mr. Areen Ibranossian, Chief of Staff, Councilmember Paul Krekorian; Mr. Jeremy Oberstein, Communications Director, Councilmember Paul Krekorian; Mr. Karo Torossian, Director of Planning and Land Usage; Councilmember Paul Krekorian.