WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marking Artsakh’s 31st Independence Day, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) were joined by nearly 50 Members of Congress in a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power, urging them to “take immediate steps dedicating significant resources” to support the vulnerable Armenian population of Artsakh via humanitarian aid. The representatives stressed the “severe hardships” caused by the unprovoked 44-day war launched by Azerbaijan, and the ongoing aggressions against innocent civilians, in violation of international law.
In addition, the letter states that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has “acknowledged that over 90,000 refugees displaced to Armenia, the majority of whom are women, children, and elderly, are suffering through an acute humanitarian crisis.”
While recognizing that the U.S. government has historically funded landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance efforts, and has dedicated millions of dollars for humanitarian assistance initiatives, the letter highlighted that the “need for this assistance has only grown due to Azerbaijan’s indiscriminate bombing campaigns in 2020 and the ongoing provocations by their troops which further endanger food, water, energy, and other critical resources for these communities.”
“The Armenian Council of America (ACA) is grateful to Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NY) and Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) for their leadership and to all of the signatories for their urgent appeal to the Biden Administration to assess the dire situation in Artsakh and Armenia as a result of Azerbaijan’s military aggression and war on the indigenous Armenian population,” stated ACA Chair, Sevak Khatchadorian.
Joining Representatives Pallone and Titus in cosigning the Congressional letter on Artsakh assistance are Representatives: Nanette Barragan (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Lou Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Jason Crow (D-CO), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jim Himes (D-CT), William Keating (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), John Larson (D-CT), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Susie Lee (D-NV), Mike Levin (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Scott Peters (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Trone (D-MD), and David Valadao (R-CA).
These sentiments were echoed in a letter, dated the same day, from Armenian Caucus leaders Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) to Artsakh Republic President Arayik Harutyunyan. The letter, which congratulated Artsakh on its Independence Day, also recognized “the ongoing challenges and threats posed by Azerbaijan” and reassures President Harutyunyan that the Armenian Caucus is “pushing the United States government to take every available diplomatic action possible to penalize the Azerbaijani and Turkish regimes for their attacks on Artsakh in 2020 and their deadly actions that continue to this day.”
“Clear American leadership in the South Caucasus is needed now more than ever, and we join Congress’ call on the Biden Administration to play a pivotal role in helping the Armenian people secure a peaceful and prosperous future,” said Khatchadorian.