The Congressional Armenian Caucus leadership has urged the U.S. State Department to elevate the U.S.-Armenia strategic dialogue through the U.S.-Armenia Task Force and an increased focus on short and mid-term economic deliverables, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We join today with the Congressional Armenian Caucus in calling for a strategic upgrade of U.S.-Armenia relations – based on our shared interests, common values, and enduring friendship between our two nations,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “As the bipartisan leadership of the Caucus affirmed so powerfully, with Armenia having emerged as a model of democratic development, it’s time to take our bilateral relations to the next level – in the political, economic, military and cultural arenas. We echo, in particular, their call for a sharp focus on concrete bilateral initiatives that will drive short and mid-term progress on key economic deliverables.”
In a December 18th letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dave Trott (R-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA) and Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) noted that “now is the time to build off Armenia's democratic progress, taking our bilateral relations to the next level - in the political, economic, military, and cultural arenas.
As a complement to the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council administered by the U.S. Trade Representative, the Task Force managed by our Department of State provides the perfect platform for setting the broad aims and policy objectives for our renewed and re-energized partnership - with a sharp focus on concrete bilateral initiatives that will drive short and midterm progress on key deliverables and shared goals.”
The letter goes on to note that “support for a comprehensive democratic transition will secure needed progress in the economic realm, where we encourage you to prioritize a long overdue Tax Treaty, Social Security Agreement, expanding duty-free products, Debt-for-Forestation swaps, non-stop LAX to EVN flights, trade missions, and other related initiatives.”
The U.S.-Armenia Joint Economic Task Force is next scheduled to meet in the first quarter of 2019.