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Longtime friend of Armenia Eliot Engel to chair US House Foreign Affairs Committee
2019-01-10 10:39:31

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has welcomed the election of a longtime friend of Armenia and Artsakh, Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), as the incoming Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Chairman Engel, a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, represents New York’s 16th Congressional District, which includes portions of the Bronx and Westchester County.  The ANCA of New York has strong ties with Congressman Engel, who has, over the past decade, consistently received an “A” grade on his ANCA Congressional Report Card.

“We look forward to working with Chairman Engel and his capable staff as he takes the helm of the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee,” remarked ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “In the spirit of cooperation that characterized our work with his predecessor, Chairman Royce, we are eager to work together on a broad array of policy priorities, including strengthening bilateral ties between Armenia and the United States and implementing the Royce-Engel proposals for Artsakh peace.”

A perennial proponent of legislation reaffirming the Armenian Genocide, Chairman Engel took a lead role in supporting Artsakh regional peace by working closely with former Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) and over 100 Congressional colleagues on three common-sense Artsakh proposals, including the removal of snipers, an increase in Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors, and the placement of gun-fire locators along the line of contact.  Armenia and Artsakh have both agreed to the proposals; Azerbaijan has refused.

Chairman Engel participated in a House Foreign Affairs Committee Congressional delegation visit (CODEL) to Armenia in 2014, participating in commemorative events marking the Armenian Genocide.  During the visit, Chairman Engel called on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and offer an apology.

Following Armenia’s Velvet Revolution in 2018, Chairman Engel encouraged Trump Administration officials to meet with Prime Minister Pashinyan and advocated for expanded democracy assistance to Armenia.

Chairman Engel is joined by Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) as the Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which currently consists of 39 members of the U.S. House.