66 House Members Urge $200 Million Assistance for Artsakh Genocide Victims; Help Armenia Defend Against Azerbaijani Aggression

Rep. Frank Pallone leads ANCA-backed letter urging end to U.S. military aid and sanctions on Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON – Sixty-six members of the House Representatives called on the House Appropriations Committee leaders on Wednesday to allocate $200 million in assistance for Artsakh refugees, expand U.S. military aid to Armenia, suspend all military and security assistance to Azerbaijan and explore the application of sanctions on Azerbaijani war criminals, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

The ANCA-backed bi-partisan letter, led by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and sent to Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operation, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ranking Democrat of that Committee, specifically requests:

  • $200 million for refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh in AEECA;
  • Suspension of all U.S. military and security aid to Azerbaijan and directs the Secretary of State to develop an assessment of potential sanctions against Azerbaijani officials;
  • $20 million in Foreign Military Financing and $10 million in International Military Education and Training for Armenia;
  • $10 million for law enforcement reforms in INCLE;
  • $10 million in democratic reforms under OTI.

“We join with the leadership of the Congressional Armenian Caucus and more than sixty of their U.S. House colleagues in demanding a long overdue ban on U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan, sanctions against the Aliyev regime, and meaningful levels of U.S. humanitarian aid for Artsakh refugees,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

“With tens of billions of American dollars being shipped overseas to crisis zones around the world, the less than $20 million that President Biden has set aside – but not yet allocated – for displaced Artsakh Armenians is truly an embarrassment – a sad testament to a President that armed Azerbaijan, aided genocide, and abandoned Armenians during our worst crisis since the Armenian Genocide,” concluded Hamparian.

The ANCA ran a nationwide grassroots campaign – anca.org/aid – urging members of Congress to cosign the Armenian Caucus letter.

Joining Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in co-signing the letter are Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC), Gabe Amo (D-RI), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Don Beyer (D-VA), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Sean Casten (D-IL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jim Himes (D-CT), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), John Larson (D-CT), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Mike Levin (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), James McGovern (D-MA), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Darren Soto (D-FL), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), and Susan Wild (D-PA).

In calling for $200 million in U.S. aid for forcibly displaced Artsakh refugees, Rep. Pallone and fellow letter co-signers told U.S. House appropriators that the U.S. and international response to Azerbaijan’s genocidal ethnic cleansing of Artsakh has been “wholly insufficient to meet these families’ outstanding needs. Failure to secure their guaranteed right of return to their homeland also remains a black mark on the international diplomatic community.”

Congressional co-signers of the letter expressed specific concern about the Aliyev regime’s intentions to “incite a new war against Armenia.” They argued, “Additional security assistance to Armenia in the form of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) is especially important as the Armenian people seek international assistance in protecting their sovereignty in the face of constant Azerbaijani expansionism and potential threats from other authoritarian regimes in the region.”

Members of Congress once again called on appropriators to stop all military and security assistance to Azerbaijan, arguing, “President Aliyev has proven time and again through his genocidal actions that he is not an honest broker for peace in the region, and the United States must not reward his regime with security assistance of any kind.”  The lawmakers criticized the State Department and international bodies for their failure to hold the Azerbaijani government accountable for human rights abuses, stating, “it is far past time that the U.S. seriously consider imposing sanctions to make them answer for these violations of international law.”

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