Last night Congressman Howard L. Berman (CA-28) was awarded the Armenian Presidential "Mkhitar Gosh" Medal in recognition of his contributions to the Armenian-American relationship. The award was presented by Tatul Markarian, the Armenian Ambasador to the United States, on behalf of the Republic of Armenia at an event hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues and the Armenian Embassy celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia's independence.
"It is a great honor to receive the Mkhitar Gosh Medal of the Republic of Armenia. I will treasure it always, as I treasure my bond with Armenian-Americans and with all Armenians," said Congressman Berman. "I will not waver in my commitment to justice for the Armenians. That means winning US Congressional recognition of the Genocide, ending the Turkish-Azerbaijani blockade, and ending the isolation of Nagorno Karabakh."
Congressman Berman has long been an advocate for advancing the interests of the Armenian-American community. While Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee during the 111th Congress, Congressman Berman shepherded H.Res.252, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, to a successful vote in committee.
This year, while Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Berman authored an Amendment to the State Department Authorization Bill which calls on the Republic of Turkey to respect religious freedom and urges the return of church properties in present-day Turkey to their rightful owners. The amendment was inspired by H.Res.306 a resolution introduced by Congressman Berman and Congressman Ed Royce (CA-40).
Upon being presented the award, Congressman Berman reaffirmed his commitment to advancing the interests of the Armenian community, including attaining recognition of the Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people in the early 20th Century.
Congressman Berman represents California's 28th Congressional District, which comprises much of the San Fernando Valley, and is home to numerous Armenian enclaves; several Armenian day schools and Armenian churches; Armenian-owned business, and thousands of Armenian American constituents.