WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28) and 60 Members of Congress sent a letter today requesting significant economic assistance for the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the Fiscal Year 2023 State and Foreign Relations funding legislation, Armenian Council of America reports.
The lawmakers requested a minimum of $100 million to bolster Armenia’s democratic, economic, energy reforms, and rule of law reforms and $50 million in funding for humanitarian assistance to the people of Artsakh. The letter also includes a request for a full prohibition of U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan and calls for the immediate release of all Armenian prisoners of war.
“The United States remains uniquely positioned to make important diplomatic advances in the South Caucasus. This is especially true in Armenia, an ancient nation with a modern democracy that continues to make democratic reforms in a region dominated by autocratic leaders,” the lawmakers wrote. “Providing significant assistance to Armenia will help make its people more secure, bolster its democracy, sustain economic development, stabilize its civil society, and aid its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This critical investment will build on past support for Armenia and Artsakh by the Subcommittee and will help strengthen the U.S.-Armenia strategic partnership, solidify our presence, and grow our influence in the region.”
In September 2020, Azerbaijan, actively aided by Turkey and foreign mercenaries, initiated a deadly invasion of Artsakh that led to six weeks of devastating fighting that killed more than5,000 people and forced more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians to flee their homes. Artsakh and Armenia continue to grapple with an ongoing humanitarian crisis that resulted from the invasion. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan continues to provocatively station troops in Armenian territory while falsely declaring the land as its own and illegally holding ethnic Armenians as detainees and prisoners of war in contravention of international human rights law.
A copy of a letter sent by the Caucus Co-Chairs to the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on April 27 is available HERE.