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Michigan Armenian Community Meets with Senator Peters To Discuss Artsakh Humanitarian Crisis

(l-r) David Terzibashian, Diana Alexanian, Hagop Alexanian, John Jamian, Michigan Assembly Co-Chair, Gary Assarian, Senator Gary Peters, Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, Harry Kezelian, Jr., Gary Zaminigian, Corinne Khederian, Michigan Assembly Co-Chair, Garry Javezian, George Derderian, and Marty Shoushanian

Washington, D.C. - The St. John Armenian Church and the Michigan Chapter of the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) hosted a luncheon meeting and briefing with United States Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and members of the Armenian Community, reported the Assembly. The members in attendance, as well as Very Rev. Fr. Aren Jebejian, pastor of the St. John Armenian Church who attended virtually, extended their appreciation to Senator Peters for standing with the Armenian people during the Artsakh humanitarian crisis, and for his recent fact-finding trip to Armenia.

Senator Gary Peters answering a question from Harry Kezelian, Jr (l-r) John Jamian, Michigan Assembly Co-Chair, Senator Gary Peters, Gary Assarian, David Terzibashian, and Harry Kezelian, Jr.

During the luncheon, which was graciously underwritten by Assembly Michigan Co-Chair John Jamian, Senator Peters spoke about his visit to Armenia, where he had the opportunity to meet with Armenian officials and witnessed for himself Azerbaijan's blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh. Senator Peters made clear that he recognizes how critical the situation is on the ground and emphasized that the "US must help ensure that the Armenians from the region receive humanitarian assistance and that the US must stop all military assistance to Azerbaijan." Senator Peters advised the attendees that he has introduced the Armenian Protection Act (Senate Bill 3000), which is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of Senators to repeal the waiver authority to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act with respect to assistance to Azerbaijan. This legislation would "prevent taxpayer dollars from financing Azerbaijani aggression," according to the Senator.

Michigan Assembly Co-Chairs John Jamian and Corinne Khederian welcoming

Senator Gary Peters into the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum

A question and answer portion of the program followed, with many attendees expressing their thanks to Senator Peters for his leadership in the Senate regarding Armenians displaced from Artsakh, as well as his involvement with the Assembly, where he recently headlined an event honoring former Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius. The meeting concluded with a tour of the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum, where Museum Director Lucy Ardash gifted Senator Peters a book as a gesture of gratitude from the Michigan Armenian community for the Senator's efforts regarding the Armenian people.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.  ###

NR# 2023-41

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