With Azerbaijan’s blockade against Artsakh entering its third month and amid Aliyev’s escalating attacks on Armenian civilians, the ANCA is rallying community and coalition support for a Congressional Armenian Caucus request to stop U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan and send at least $150 million in assistance to Artsakh and Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The request comes in the form of a letter to Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations Chairman Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL) and Ranking Member Barbara Lee (D-CA), who have already begun crafting the U.S. House version of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) foreign aid bill.
“Well over a hundred thousand Armenians and allied Americans have already asked their U.S. Representatives to stop U.S. military aid to oil-rich Azerbaijan and send American humanitarian assistance to at-risk Artsakh – a powerful groundswell of grassroots activism from all fifty U.S. states and across the American political spectrum,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “With Azerbaijan’s blockade now well into its third month and Aliyev steadily escalating his deadly aggression, we all need to step up – meeting with legislators, leveraging coalitions, and relentlessly writing, calling, and tweeting to demand concrete action from the elected officials who come asking for our votes every election.”
In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to Members of Congress, Congressional Armenian Caucus founding co-chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) noted, “Meaningful increases in assistance to Armenia for important priorities – including supporting populations displaced as a result of Azerbaijan’s aggression and impacted by the blockade of the Lachin Corridor – are essential to ensuring the stabilization of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and paving a pathway towards lasting peace and security in the region.”
The letter includes the following budgetary requests:
— $100 million for security, economic, governance, and rule of law assistance to Armenia
— $50 million for Artsakh to provide a comprehensive assistance strategy and support the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh in their rebuilding and resettlement efforts – along with an additional $2 million for humanitarian demining and UXO clearance.
— The suspension of all U.S. military and security aid to Azerbaijan and a State Department assessment of potential sanctions against Azeri officials found to have supported human rights abuses and war crimes.
— Language supporting the Administration’s efforts to secure the release of Armenian POWs illegally held by Azerbaijan.