The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) has welcomed the inclusion of the Speier-Cox-Krishnamoorthi amendment regarding demining assistance to Nagorno Karabakh as part of H.R. 7608 – the Fiscal Year 2021 State, Foreign Operations, Agriculture, Rural Development, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This bipartisan amendment, cosponsored by Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Gil Cisneros (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Dave Cicilline (D-RI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Harley Rouda (D-CA), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Max Rose (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Dina Titus (D-NV), provides $1.4 million in humanitarian demining assistance in Nagorno Karabakh. It passed the House as part of an en bloc package of amendments.
“We applaud Representatives Speier, Cox and Krishnamoorthi along with the over 30 cosponsors who introduced this bipartisan amendment. Landmine clearance is critically important to continue to help save lives. As Congressman Sherman indicated earlier today in a hearing on the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, USAID needs to finish the job (referring to demining in Nagorno Karabakh),” stated Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan.
In its testimony before the House and Senate, the Assembly has consistently and repeatedly advocated for robust assistance for the people of Artsakh, including demining. For a relatively small investment, the United States can make a significant difference for the people of Nagorno Karabakh, especially for the children.
Khaloyan added: “Inclusion of this amendment is a testament to the shared values between the United States and Nagorno Karabakh, and stands in stark contrast to the ill-conceived attempts to prohibit such assistance, in lockstep with Azerbaijan and its Laundromat lobbyists, to marginalize the Armenian people. The Assembly remains deeply troubled by Azerbaijan’s attacks against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, which started earlier this month, including threats to target Armenia’s nuclear power plant.”
“We are overjoyed to see the House of Representatives include funding in the State and Foreign Operations bill for humanitarian demining in Nagorno Karabakh. We are especially grateful to Representatives Speier, Cox, and Krishnamoorthi for leading this effort, and want to thank the many other Members of Congress that have worked so hard to help ensure that HALO’s life-saving work can continue,” said Kristen Stevens, Government Affairs Manager, The HALO Trust (USA)