The Armenian Council of America (ACA) is pleased to announce that on June  22, members of the US House of Representatives from California, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, and Rhode Island, provided testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, in support of continued demining aid to Artsakh and assistance to Armenia.

Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Costa (D-CA), TJ Cox (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Jim Himes (D-CT), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) emphasized the importance of continued assistance to Artsakh specifically, while Rep. Costa also requested $100 million in aid to Armenia and raised concerns regarding Azerbaijan’s recent military escalation and the the disparity in military assistance provided to Azerbaijan in comparison to Armenia.

Rep. Sherman urged the committee to strengthen the US-Armenia strategic partnership by supporting robust assistance to Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) in the FY21 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill. Rep. Sherman also stressed the need to “include $1.5 million for Artsakh demining and robust funding for regional rehabilitation services for survivors of landmine injuries, and language urging our continued efforts to help Nagorno Karabakh deal with the problems of mines, health and education projects.”

“Armenian Americans applaud Rep. Sherman for calling on Congress to prioritize the US-Armenia relationship,” stated ACA Washignton D.C. Representative Taniel Koushakjian. “Armenia’s Velvet Revolution presents an important opportunity for the United States to raise our level of commitment to the Armenian people and to ensure that democracy prevails in the South Caucasus. We are also grateful to Reps. Schiff, Chu, Cicilline, Costa, Cox, Garamendi, Himes, Maloney and Tlaib for presenting a united front in preserving USAID’s life-saving humanitarian aid program in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, as well as their calls to hold Azerbaijan accountable for their military aggression towards Armenia and Artsakh,” added Koushakjian.

As ACA’s March 11 letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs emphasized, Congress has a unique opportunity to elevate the US-Armenia strategic partnership to a model partnership for the region and in doing so, will help bring the South Caucasus region closer to peace. Armenia as one of the few bright spots in the world today, Armenian citizens, and their brothers and sisters here in the US, are proud that they have risen to the challenge to take control of their destiny and have charted a new, more peaceful, more democratic, and more pluralistic path towards a stronger, Western-style democratic society. ACA believes these steps should be rewarded, highlighted and that the US-Armenia partnership should be deepened and strengthened as a model partnership for the region.

In the same light, some of Armenia’s neighbors who have gone backwards, who have taken destabilizing steps, and whose provocative behavior have increased the prospect of war, should be recognized and held accountable in line with US values.

The Armenian Council of America is committed to promote the civic and civil rights interests of the Armenian American community. ACA also aims to strengthen US – Armenia and US – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.

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