ArmInfo.As Azerbaijan's siege of Artsakh passed the 100-day mark this week, a bipartisan group of sixty-nine U.S. Representatives, led by Congressional Armenian Caucus founding Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), once again called for ending military aid to Azerbaijan and sending $150 million in assistance to Artsakh and Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The request comes in the form of a letter to Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations Chairman Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL) and Ranking Member Barbara Lee (D-CA), who have already begun drafting the U.S. House version of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) foreign aid bill.
"Continued U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan represents a free pass for Azerbaijani aggression, a greenlight for Azerbaijani escalation," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "It should have stopped on day one with President Biden, who entered office as a sharp critic of arming and aiding Aliyev. But, if our President won't do what's right, Congress needs to act."
Joining Chairman Pallone in co-signing the letter are Representatives: Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D- CA), JoaquЎn Castro (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Lou Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D- CA), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Jared Golden (D-ME), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Jim Himes (D-CT), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), 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), Richard Neal (D-MA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D- DC), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Brittany Pettersen (D-CO), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D- MD), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Janice Schakowsky (D- IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D- MI), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), and Susan Wild (D-PA).
The letter includes the following budgetary requests:
-- $100 million for security, economic, governance, and rule of law assistance to Armenia
-- $50 million for Artsakh to provide a comprehensive assistance strategy and support the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh in their rebuilding and resettlement efforts - along with an additional $2 million for humanitarian demining and UXO clearance.
-- The suspension of all U.S. military and security aid to Azerbaijan and a State Department assessment of potential sanctions against Azeri officials found to have supported human rights abuses and war crimes.
-- Language supporting the Administration's efforts to secure the release of Armenian POWs illegally held by Azerbaijan.
Over 50,000 pro-Artsakh advocates used the ANCA action platform - anca.org/aid - writing, tweeting, and calling their U.S. Representative to co-sign the Congressional letter.
The full text of the Armenian Caucus letter is provided below and available here: https://anca.org/assets/pdf/032223_FY24_ArmenianCaucus_SFOPs_Letter.pdf