March 12, 2020 - 14:20 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - In a strong showing of legislative support, 75 U.S. Representatives from 23 states sent a bipartisan Armenian Caucus letter on Wednesday, March 11, asking Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY) of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations to fund de-mining and rehabilitation services in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and expand U.S. assistance to Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Over twice as many U.S. Representatives signed this year’s letter – illustrating the energy and urgency of Congressional support for saving Artsakh aid in the face of ill-advised attempts by the Trump-Pence Administration to kill a life-saving, peace-promoting de-mining program,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We thank Representatives Pallone, Speier, and Schiff and all their colleagues who co-signed this letter for advancing a targeted, forward-leaning aid package for Artsakh and Armenia that invests in peace and democracy.”
The letter, circulated for signatures by the Congressional Armenian Caucus, included the following budgetary requests:
– $1.5 million for Artsakh demining and robust funding for regional rehabilitation services for survivors of landmine injuries and individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.
– $100 million for economic, governance, rule of law, and security assistance to Armenia through State Department and USAID accounts.
– That the State Department and USAID lift any official or unofficial restrictions on U.S. travel, communication, or contacts with Artsakh government officials.
– The suspension of U.S. military aid for Azerbaijan until it has been verified to have ceased all attacks against Armenia and Artsakh.
The policy priorities outlined by the Armenian Caucus, which annually spearheads bipartisan efforts to secure support for Armenian-related aid appropriation, are consistent with ANCA testimony presented last month to the House panel tasked with writing the FY2021 foreign aid bill.