GLENDALE, CA – A delegation of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party (S.D.H.P), Western Region of the U.S. Executive Committee headed by Chairman Mr. Krikor Khodanian along with members of the Armenian Council of America (A.C.A.), met with U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Richard M. Mills, Jr., on March 9, 2016, and discussed key issues affecting Armenians in the Homeland and Diaspora.

Mr. Khodanian introduced the party’s stance on various issues in Armenia, including support for a more transparent government, as well as the S.D.H.P.’s activities and influence in Armenia and abroad. Discussing the activities and mission of A.C.A., Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian provided a synopsis of the goals A.C.A. is trying to achieve in the United States in order to help the Armenian citizenry abroad.

During the hour-long meeting, wide ranging topics were discussed, with primary emphasis being placed on the current state of affairs in the Republic of Armenia, relations between Armenia and the United States, human rights issues, judiciary reform, free elections, freedom of the press and the Syrian refugee crisis, as well as U.S. AID programs aimed at Armenia’s economic competitiveness, promoting civic participation and access to a wide range of media outlets.

The delegation voiced its concerns with the slow progress of political reforms in Armenia and the lack of economic equity in the country. The delegation stressed that only systematic change and a paradigm shift in the current political and economic culture will bring about real change in the areas of fair and just governance, social and economic justice, and preeminence of the rule of law. This paradigm shift, in the delegation’s point of view starts with separation of powers, specifically, the fundamental guarantee of the independence of the judiciary. Unfortunately, the current system in Armenia desires much needed reform. In that respect, the delegation urged Ambassador Mills to continue to urge upon the Armenian authorities, the need to establish a political and bureaucratic environment that is conducive to social, political and economic progress.

The delegation thanked Ambassador Mills for his continuous stance on ensuring that democratic ideals are upheld in Armenia and offered their support for any programs or services that are available to Armenian citizens.

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