On July 31, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Armenia-USA Friendship Group of the RA National Assembly and the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues of the U.S. House of Representatives respectively by the Chair of the RA NA Friendship Group Armenia-USA Lilit Makunts and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues of the U.S. House of Representatives Frank Joseph Pallone Jr.
Welcoming the guests Lilit Makunts and Frank Pallone highlighted the intention of raising the cooperation to a new level after signing and approved the intention of setting up a Commission of Parliamentary Consultations with the participation of the representatives of the Congress of the United States of America and the RA National Assembly. The joint Commission will yield a relevant platform for comprehensive discussions aimed to identify the fields and spheres of mutual interest instrumental to enhance the collaboration between the United States and the Republic of Armenia.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was the re-approval of the long-lasting history of the Armenian-American parliamentary cooperation and the pre-indication of new partnership relations.
The MOU signing ceremony conditioned by Covid-19 took place distancing – through video conference in the U.S. Embassy in the RA and in the RA Embassy to the U.S.A.
The members of Armenia-U.S. Friendship Group, the RA NA Deputy Speaker, the member of the Prosperous Armenia Faction Vahe Enfiajyan, the Head of the RA NA Bright Armenia Faction Edmon Marukyan made opening remarks and gave speeches in the event.
It was pre-signed by the Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues of the U.S. House of Representatives Jackie Speier and the Vice-Chair Adam Schiff.
The parties agreed to exchange the signed Memorandums of Understanding for the other parties’ signing in the future.
Below is also presented the text of the Memorandum of Understanding in English.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
Between the Armenia -USA Friendship Group of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and the United States Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
* Celebrating the centennial anniversary of the official establishment of relations between the United States and the Republic of Armenia, the enduring friendship of the American and Armenian peoples, the strong bonds between the two governments, and the many contributions Americans of Armenian heritage continue to make to the United States;
* Emphasizing that this cooperation between our two democracies is based on shared values and common interests and stressing out mutual desire to strengthen our relationship across the economic energy, diplomatic, innovation and advanced technologies, scientific, cultural and security fields.
* Considering the fact that since 1992, the United States government has provided more than 2 billion dollars in assistance funding to improve the lives of the Armenian people in Armenia and Artsakh, supporting their efforts to strengthen democratic, economic and social governance;
* Jointly acknowledging the importance of the records on official recognition and remembrance of the Armenian Genocide by the United States Congress affirmed by the two resolutions including H.Res.296 adopted by the House of Representatives on October 29, 2019 and S.Res.150 adopted on December 12, 2019 by the United States Senate;
* Noting that the United States government has increased the assistance funding to Armenia in 2019 with a figure of more than $60 million, which represents a 40% increase after the peaceful and constitutional leadership transition in the wake of the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of April-May, 2018 and the December 9, 2018 democratic parliamentary elections broadly recognized as free and fair;
* Jointly admitting that Armenia’s aid-to-trade transition requires continued United States leadership on trade and investment promotion, upgraded engagement through the Economic Task Force and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council, and the exploration of mutually beneficial economic accords;
* The United States Congress and the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia reaffirm the importance of bolstering the United States-Armenia partnership in the framework of the Armenia-US Strategic Dialogue launched in May 2019 that signifies the new level of bilateral ties.
* Both sides understand the untapped opportunities of cooperation between the legislative bodies that will help the governments set a new stage in the United States-Armenia bilateral partnership.
* The parties share the mutual conviction for the need to empower the Armenian people and to solidify their progress by strengthening United States-Armenia relations through bilateral visits, consultations, increased cooperation, targeted trade and investment promotion and support for political party development, institutional transparency and resilience, rule of law, civil society development, and media freedom.
* Both sides share an intention to set up a commission of parliamentary consultations between the representatives of the United States Congress and the National Assembly of Armenia. Convened on a regular basis, the joint commission of parliamentary consultations will yield a relevant platform for comprehensive discussions aimed to identify the fields and spheres of mutual interest instrumental to enhance the collaboration between the United States and the Republic of Armenia.
This MOU is done in Yerevan and Washington DC on 31st of July 2020 in the Armenian and English languages, both texts being equally authentic.
For the Armenia -USA Friendship Group
of the National Assembly of the
Republic of Armenia
Chair of “My Step” Faction
For the United States Congressional
Caucus on Armenian Issues
FRANK PALLONE, JR