The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has called on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to take immediate action to stop all military assistance to Azerbaijan, which invaded Armenia this week and continues to ethnically cleanse indigenous Armenians from their Artsakh homeland.
In a strongly worded letter sent on the eve of Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Armenia, ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian explained, “a halt to U.S. aid to Azerbaijan would also meaningfully challenge our State Department’s deeply flawed policy of answering every act of Azerbaijani aggression with generic calls upon all parties to refrain from violence. This failed policy of false parity is as destructive as it is dangerous, emboldening the aggressor and abandoning their victims.”
Hamparian continued, “even more broadly, cutting off aid to Azerbaijan, in addition to protecting Armenians and promoting peace, would reinforce America’s commitment to centering human rights as a core tenet of our foreign policy.”
Speaking for the Armenian community and coalition partners, Hamparian urged the Speaker to take concrete legislative action to “secure enactment of stand-alone legislation, provisions in the FY23 State-Foreign Operations bill, the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act, or other legislative measures, repealing the President’s authority to waive Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan, and/or statutorily prohibiting any funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the U.S. Congress to be provided to or for the Government of Azerbaijan for U.S. military or security programs.”
The full text of the letter is available here.
On Thursday, Politico broke the news that Speaker Pelosi and Armenian American Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) will be traveling to Yerevan on September 17th. The visit comes just days after the Azerbaijani forces launched a heavy artillery attack using mortars and drones on Armenian military and civilian infrastructure in Sotk, Vardenis, Goris, Kapan, Artanish, Jermuk, and Iskhanasar, located on Armenia’s eastern border with Azerbaijan. Over 100 Armenians have been confirmed killed, and 80 injured, during the ongoing Azerbaijani incursion into sovereign Armenia territory. The unprovoked attack is the largest on Armenian territory since the 2020 Turkey and Azerbaijan-led 44-day war against Artsakh and Armenia, which claimed over 5000 Armenian lives.
Since this latest Azerbaijani incursion, over 45 U.S. Senate and House members have condemned President Aliyev’s aggression against Armenia.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was joined by Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders in introducing legislation (H.Res.1351) calling for an immediate end to U.S. aid to Azerbaijan, and condemning President Aliyev’s unprovoked attack against Armenia and Artsakh. The bi-partisan resolution already has over 25 cosponsors.