WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a testimony before the House Armed Services Committee Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ) has called for immediate suspension of military assistance to Azerbaijan, Armenian Assembly of America reports.
In his testimony, Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Pallone highlighted the ongoing “intimidation and cross-border attacks against Armenia and Artsakh” by Azerbaijan and raised concerns about the security assistance allocated to Azerbaijan through the Section 333 Building Partner Capacity Program (BPCP). Congressman Pallone stated that such assistance was “wholly counterintuitive to the U.S. peace mission in the South Caucasus Region” and “defies almost two decades of parity in U.S. security assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan.” Congressman Pallone therefore called on the Armed Services Committee to include language in the NDAA that would:
-Suspend U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan until its government “ceases attacks against Armenia and Artsakh and agrees to the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts.”
-Establish reporting requirements with respect to assistance provided under the BPCP and prevent funds from going “to human rights abusing regimes” like Azerbaijan.
-Add a certification requirement to Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.
-Increase military assistance to Armenia.
Congressman Pallone also stated that the bill should “reflect our unwavering commitment to building democracy and a stronger geo-strategic relationship with the Republic of Armenia” as well as prioritizing a lasting peace with respect to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.