Los Angeles, CA – The Armenian National Committee-Western Region (ANC-WR) is pleased to announce that Senator Joseph Biden will be honored with the esteemed Freedom Award at the organization’s annual banquet on October 12, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. On August 23rd, Presidential hopeful Barack Obama announced Senator Biden as his choice for Vice Presidential candidate.
Senator Joseph Biden has always stood out as a leader on human rights,” stated ANC-WR Executive Director Andrew Kzirian. “The ANC-WR banquet presents a wonderful opportunity to recognize his efforts to raise awareness on the dangers of genocide,” he added.
Senator Biden has provided friendship and support to the Armenian American community dating back to his first days in public office. As a United States Senator, Biden has served as an influential and consensus-building bipartisan leader. As Chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden has cosponsored numerous Armenian Genocide resolutions and most recently presided over the confirmation hearing of Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch. At the conclusion of the contentious confirmation proceedings, Biden, along with Senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez, forced the State Department to retreat from statements calling into question the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide. In a letter to Chairman Biden, the State Department stated that it held the Ottoman authorities responsible for crimes committed during the Armenian Genocide.
Senator Biden was elected to office in 1972 and has since been a powerful voice on issues of concern to the Armenian American community. In May, 2007, Senator Biden, in response to a question from the Los Angeles Times editorial board about the Armenian Genocide Resolution (S.Res.106), said, “I support it, and the reason is simple: I have found in my experience that you cannot have a solid relationship with a country based on fiction. It occurred. It occurred.”
Senator Biden has been a cosponsor of every resolution reaffirming the Armenian Genocide introduced in the Senate over the past 20 years. He authored a resolution (S.Res.65), which was adopted in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by unanimous consent, to honor journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in Turkey last year for writing about the Armenian Genocide. In July, 2008, Sen. Biden reiterated his commitment to securing U.S. and Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide in connection with the nomination of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Marie Yovanovitch. “Recognition by the United States of the Armenian Genocide is not the final goal. The real goal is the recognition of Turkey – of the Turkish Government – of the Armenian Genocide and the establishment of a common Turkish-Armenian understanding of the events and tragedy that took place,” stated Sen. Biden.
The ANCA endorsed Senator Obama in the Democratic primaries. The ANC of Iowa had endorsed Sen. Joe Biden in his presidential election bid prior to the Iowa primary earlier this year.
Individuals interested in attending the ANC-Western Region banquet are encouraged to contact ANC-WR Banquet Coordinator Aida Dimejian at (818) 500-1918 or visit www.itsmyseat.com to purchase tickets. The banquet is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. Organizers of this event expect that it will be sold out well before September 15th.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Photo Caption: Senator Joseph Biden.