October 1, 2013 - 10:57 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - On the threshold of the upcoming annual meeting of the U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) hosted a roundtable talk on the future of U.S.-Armenian relations.
The discussion, held in the ANCA's Aramian Conference Room, featured a far-ranging and constructive exchange among a broad cross-section of stakeholders with a diverse set of experiences dealing with various aspects of America's relationship with Armenia, Artsakh, and her own citizens among the Armenian American community.
"We were pleased to host an open exploration of the present state and future direction of U.S.-Armenian relations that was characterized by both a constructive exchange between those holding a diverse set of viewpoints and also a core consensus on shared national and democratic aspirations," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We want to thank each and every person who participated, not only for the wisdom and vision they shared, but also for the very practical advice and suggestions that they brought to the table."
The U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force meeting is set to address a broad range of issues impacting this bilateral relationship, with a special focus on growing the trade and investment levels between these two nations. "This October, we're looking to the U.S. leadership of this bilateral platform to build on more than a decade of largely aid-related discussions by bringing to the table a set of concrete deliverables: increased trade, new investments, and good jobs that will foster hope and opportunity in both nations," added Hamparian, following the roundtable.
The ANCA has, against the backdrop of the downward trend in overall foreign aid levels, long advocated greater U.S. prioritization of the growth of economic ties with Armenia, in order to create jobs, reinforce the enduring friendship between the American and Armenian peoples, help offset the crushing impact of dual Turkish-Azerbaijani blockades, and - very significantly - provide Armenia with strategic options in terms of its economic and security relations with regional powers.
The ANCA has long pressed for a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, a Double Tax Treaty, and a range of other accords in its relations with the Obama Administration and also the U.S. Congress.