U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills Jr. Briefs Community at Town Hall Meeting Hosted by the Western Prelacy

On the evening of Thursday, March 10, 2016, the community gathered at the “Dikran and Zarouhie Der Ghazarian” Hall of the Western Prelacy for a town hall meeting with His Excellency Richard M. Mills, Jr., United States Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia.

Prior to the town hall, the Ambassador held a private meeting with H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, which Executive Council members later joined.

The town hall opened with welcoming remarks by the Prelate, who welcomed Ambassador Mills on behalf of the clergy, councils, and community, and thanked him for taking the time to hear the concerns of the American community across the U.S. His Eminence noted that of concern to the community are the economic prosperity, safety, stability, and growth of Armenia, as well as the continuation of good bilateral relations, stating “we are certain that with our collective efforts, we can secure a brighter future for Armenia.” Finally, the Prelate expressed hope that the United States, as a champion of justice and human rights, will in due time join the scores of nations that have formally acknowledged the indisputable truth of the Armenian Genocide.

Mr. Vahe Yacoubian, Esq. introduced the honored guest and invited him to make his presentation. The Ambassador first spoke of the enormous social, economic, and political progress he witnessed upon returning to Armenia after over two decades, noting great improvements in a number of areas including infrastructure, information technology, agriculture, rule of law, civil society, and more. Noting that the goal of U.S. policy is for a democratic, prosperous, and secure Armenia at peace with its neighbors, the Ambassador stated that the continued conflict between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan twenty-two years after the ceasefire and the fact that the border with Turkey remains closed are disheartening, and that the U.S. is committed to the resolution of both of these issues. He then outlined his priorities as Ambassador, which are to deepen business and trade relations between the U.S. and Armenia, to work with NGO’s and governmental institutions to counter corruption, to strengthen democracy, human rights, and civil society, and for the U.S. Embassy to strengthen the effectiveness of its outreach to the Armenian public to explain U.S. foreign policy goals around the world. At the conclusion of his presentation Ambassador Mills presented a slideshow of the Embassy’s work, after which he took questions from the audience.

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