GLENDALE – On February 26, Consul General of Armenia in Los Angeles Ambassador Armen Baibourtian held a virtual meeting with U.S. Congressman David Valadao, who is a member of the Republican Party. The meeting was also attended by the Honorary Consul of Armenia in Fresno Berj Apkarian.
Congressman Valadao is the U.S. Representative for California’s 21st congressional district, which includes significant parts of the heavily Armenian populated Fresno.Consul General Baibourtian congratulated Congressman Valadao on the occasion of his re-election as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and on assuming the position of the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
During the meeting, Ambassador Baibourtian presented the aftermath of the Azerbaijani-Turkish aggression against Artsakh and its consequences for Artsakh and Armenia, as well as the emerged humanitarian crisis in the post-war period.Ambassador Baibourtian attached special importance to the issue of the Armenian prisoners of war (POWs) held in Azerbaijan underlining the need for their immediate return to the homeland. The interlocutors agreed to hold their meetings periodically, thus planning to have the upcoming one in Fresno to discuss issues of mutual interest.During the meeting, Congressman David Valadao spoke warmly about the Armenian-American community emphasizing its importance and unique contribution in all spheres of life in the largest U.S. State of California. Ambassador Baibourtian mentioned that the Armenian community in California has its roots in the Central Valley, particularly in Fresno, where the Armenian community began to take shape in the last decades of the 19th century.
Ambassador Baibourtian expressed his appreciation to the fact that Congressman Valadao had visited Artsakh in September 2017. He was also thankful for the Armenian Caucus letter of February 19 signed by 100 Members of Congress encouraging the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to strengthen the United States – Armenia bilateral relations.