Armenian Americans reach out to parties

Armenian Americans reach out to parties

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Armenian Americans reach out to parties

Armenians gather to mark the anniversary of the 1915 killings at a monument in Yerevan in this photo. An Armenian group is to meet with US presidential candidates. AP photo

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has called on both Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Governor Mitt Romney to outline their views on issues of special concern to Armenian American voters, and to hold a formal meeting with the community’s leadership prior to the November elections, the group has said.

In a letter sent last week to Obama, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian said the president’s “failure to consult personally” with representatives of his Armenian American constituents in addition to breaching a previous campaign pledge to recognize the “Armenian genocide” was “unhealthy for both American democracy and U.S. diplomacy.”

The ANCA’s letter to governor Romney, similarly, called upon the Republican nominee to spell out his views on Armenian American issues and to meet personally with the leadership of the Armenian American community. The ANCA also asked Armenian voters to send their views on Obama and Romney in e-mails messages.

Obama angered the Armenian American community when he broke his promise to recognize the “Armenian genocide.” Romney has not openly announced his views on the matter, but Paul Ryan, his vice-presidential candidate, has supported pro-Armenian moves in the House of Representatives over the past couple of years.

Armenian Americans call the deaths of their kinsmen in the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I “genocide,” while Turkey claims the number of Armenian deaths is much smaller, with victims including many Turks and Muslims as well.