WASHINGTON, DC –The Armenian service of the Voice of America conducted an interview with Armenian-American member of the U.S. Congress, Jackie Kanchelian-Speier. Following is excerpts from the interview:
– Congresswoman Kanchelian-Speier, you are one of the unique members of the US Congress, who has an Armenian origin. Does this fact put any additional responsibility on you?
– My mother was Armenian. She died when she was 94. Since the early years she told me about the Armenian Genocide and the memories, transferred to me from my ancestors, have followed me for my whole life. I note with pain that our country has not yet recognized the first genocide of the 20th century. Thus, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an important issue, which I considered to be a duty before my mother’s memory.
-You visited Armenia as a member of delegation representing the United States at the Armenian Genocide commemoration events. What impressions did you get?
-Along with one of my colleagues of Armenian descent, Anna Eshoo, I represented the United States in Armenia. I feel deeply offended that my country has not recognized the Genocide yet. I believe the United States should acknowledge the Genocide in order to remain true to the Armenian community’s and to its own values.
– Concerning the assistance of the United States of America, allocated to Armenia: is not it the time for the US to help Armenia develop economically, instead of allocating humanitarian aid?
– Both of them should be continued. The assistance of the United States to Armenia has reduced by half during the last 5 years, making 20 million from 44. Thus, the assistance, allocated to Armenia, has reduced and the support to other countries has significantly increased. I think that the assistance to Armenia is very important. The country is in blockade and we understand that Armenia maintains strong relations with the Russian Federation, though the United States of America as well should maintain close relations with Armenia.