Congressman unveils bill supporting travel between Artsakh and U.S.

Congressman unveils bill supporting travel between Artsakh and U.S.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) praised Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chair Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) for introducing H. Res. 190. This bipartisan legislation supports United States-Artsakh relations, and calls for free and open communication, as well as travel, between the two nations at all levels of civil society and government.

“The United States has always been a strong supporter of open dialogue and communication, and this resolution was introduced in the vein of that tradition. We should always seek to engage friendly nations with democratic values like Artsakh, not disregard them as has been U.S. policy for too long. I hope that our government will take this message to heart by fully recognizing Artsakh as an autonomous nation and encourage more direct U.S.-Artsakh cooperation,” Congressman Pallone said to the Armenian Assembly.

The resolution notes: "Department of State policies and practices place self-imposed restrictions on travel and communications between the United States and Artsakh, limiting oversight of United States taxpayer-funded assistance programs and discouraging the open dialogue and discourse that can contribute to a peaceful resolution of Artsakh-related status and security issues."

H.Res. 190 also states: "open dialogue and communications contribute to greater international understanding and facilitate more effective conflict resolution."

“We welcome the introduction of the H.Res. 190, and appreciate the continued support by Congressman Pallone and his colleagues in this and other important issues related to the Artsakh-U.S. bilateral agenda. In Artsakh, we look forward to eliminating all the unnecessary restrictions, and are very much interested in expanding ties and cooperation with the United States towards our shared vision of a peaceful, predictable, and prosperous South Caucasus,” Artsakh Representative to the United States Robert Avetisyan.

Spearheaded by Rep. Pallone, the resolution is co-sponsored by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Armenian Caucus Vice-Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA).

H.Res. 190 resolves that the House of Representatives: "(1) affirms its commitment to supporting actions that encourage visits and communication between officials from the United States and Artsakh at all levels, including cabinet-level national security officials, general officers, and other executive branch officials, to travel to Artsakh and openly and directly communicate with their Artsakh counterparts; (2) encourages open communication, meetings, and other direct contacts between officials of Artsakh and the executive and legislative branches of the United States Government, representatives of State and local governments, and representatives of American civil society; and (3) calls for the full and direct participation of the democratically elected Government of the Republic of Artsakh in all OSCE and other negotiations regarding its future."

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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