ArmInfo. US Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ) has introduced bipartisan legislation with Reps. David Valadao (R-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) to protect Armenians and provide humanitarian assistance to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in response to the brutal and unjust actions taken by the Government of Azerbaijan, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
The Bill, "Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression Act of 2023," covers a spectrum of pertinent and swift actions that can be taken by the Administration in the aftermath of Azerbaijan's illegal and unprovoked attacks on the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh, from calling on Azerbaijan to open the Lachin Corridor to providing humanitarian assistance to imposing sanctions to ceasing waivers of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, as well as appropriating funding for future partnerships between the U.S. and Armenia. "President Aliyev's genocidal campaign against the Armenian people of Artsakh has gone on too long, and it is past time the United States takes meaningful action to halt it. This legislation takes a major first step in addressing the atrocities committed by his regime and holding him and his cronies accountable for the death and destruction they have wrought. It would also provide the Armenian people impacted by the conflict with the assistance and security they need to live safely in their ancient homelands without fear of reprisal from the Azerbaijani government," stated Congressman Pallone.
The Assembly's Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan stated: "Since he has taken a page out of Putin's playbook in Ukraine, Aliyev too must be held accountable for his ongoing targeting of civilians in Artsakh. We urge the Administration to sanction Azerbaijan for its genocidal actions." The Bill further calls for $30 million to "provide humanitarian assistance to groups in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh impacted by the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, Azerbaijan's September 2022 attack on Armenia, and Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin Corridor."
The Bill also contains language to provide $10 million in Foreign Military Financing assistance to Armenia to "support Armenia's independence, joint training and exercises with the U.S., and train Armenian forces for future international peacekeeping operations." Imposing sanctions on Azerbaijan regarding the Aliyev regime's clear attempts at ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh is also specified, as well as the government's "operations that instigated the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War; attacks on Armenia in September 2022; the blockade of the Lachin Corridor beginning in December 2022; attacks on Nagorno- Karabakh in September 2023." Finally, the Bill highlights the importance of protecting the rights of the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh and requests that the Secretary of State "shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a detailed strategy to ensure the durable security for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh" that incorporates the "rights and security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh" as well as the "establishment of accountability measures to ensure the rights and security of the population of Nagorno-Karabakh in the event that the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan reach a peace agreement" as well as "support for the protection of Armenian cultural heritage sites in Nagorno-Karabakh."