U.S. policy toward the Caucasus should strengthen the security of Armenia and Artsakh against threats from Azerbaijan and Turkey, according to testimony submitted by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) for a November 16th Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the region.
The ANCA testimony, presented by Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan, underscored that: “U.S. policy toward Armenia must align with the security and viability of Armenia and Artsakh in the face of existential regional threats, while U.S. policy on Azerbaijan should prioritize accountability for its past and ongoing crimes. Our current, deeply flawed U.S. policy in the Caucasus offers lectures on democracy to democratic Armenia, ships U.S. tax-payer funded military aid to dictatorial Azerbaijan, and provides no assistance at all to at-risk Artsakh. That has to change.”
The full text of the ANCA’s testimony addresses the following ANCA policy priorities:
— Full enforcement of Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan.
— No less than $50 million in direct U.S. humanitarian aid to Artsakh.
— Official inquiries into arms export violations related to Turkish drones.
— Strict scrutiny of ambassadorial nominations to Armenia and Azerbaijan.
— U.S. pressure on Turkey to stop obstructing justice for the Armenian Genocide.
— Investigation into Azerbaijani war crimes, including its use of prohibited munitions, recruitment of foreign mercenaries, cultural and religious desecration, and the illegal detention, abuse, and murder of Armenian prisoners of war.
“The oil-rich Aliyev regime must be held accountable, through the immediate cessation of U.S. military aid and the investigation of its invasions, atrocities, and war crimes,” states Yerimyan. “These actions must be matched with a robust aid package to meet pressing humanitarian and developmental needs in Artsakh. In terms of U.S.-Armenia bilateral ties, we seek a paradigm shift in relations that prioritizes the security and viability of Armenia and Artsakh in the face of existential regional threats.”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing will take place on Wednesday, November 16th, at 10:00am EST and will be streamed live. Witnesses offering testimony include Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Philip Reeker, U.S. State Department Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations. The ANCA has shared a series of in-depth questions with Senate Foreign Relations Committee members, calling for clarification on the Biden Administration’s policies on a range of Armenian American concerns.