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 Tuesday, December 5 2023 10:49
Marianna Mkrtchyan

60 U.S. Senators and Representatives call for increased security aid  for Armenia, humanitarian assistance for Artsakh refugees

60 U.S. Senators and Representatives call for increased security aid  for Armenia, humanitarian assistance for Artsakh refugees

ArmInfo.Sixty U.S. Senators and Representatives, led by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Rep. Anna  Eshoo (D-CA), called on congressional leaders to send security assistance to Armenia and provide additional refugee relief aid for Artsakh genocide survivors as part of the national security supplemental funding bill, set to be reviewed as early as next week, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).  

Specifically, the Padilla-Eshoo letter - broadly supported through  ANCA-led nationwide grassroots action - calls for $10 million in U.S.  foreign military financing (FMF) for Armenia and requests  humanitarian assistance allocated in the supplemental aid bill to be  made available to Armenia to meet the needs of the 120,000 Armenians  from Artsakh forced from their homes following Azerbaijan's ethnic  cleansing of the region's entire Armenian population in September  2023.  "We thank Congresswoman Eshoo and Senator Padilla for  partnering in this bicameral call on President Biden to invest in  Armenia's security and meaningfully support Artsakh's refugees," said  ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "With President Biden lining  up on the wrong side of Armenian issues - arming Azerbaijan and  abandoning Artsakh - Congress is stepping up, leading America's  response to the escalating threats that Turkey and Azerbaijan  represent to Armenia's very survival." "Azerbaijan's brutal,  unprovoked military assault on Nagorno-Karabakh on the heels of their  months-long blockade of the Lachin Corridor has created a horrific  humanitarian crisis, forcing more than 100,000 ethnic Armenian  refugees to flee their homes," said Senator Padilla. "The U.S. must  step up to address this emergency. I strongly urge Congressional  leadership to include essential security and humanitarian assistance  for Armenia in the foreign aid package." Rep. Eshoo noted, "I'm proud  to partner with Senator Padilla in leading this timely bipartisan  effort to secure aid for Armenia in the upcoming national security  bill. Armenia urgently needs U.S. aid to defend its democracy against  Azerbaijani aggression and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis  caused by Azerbaijan's ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh. As  Congress prepares legislation to support our vulnerable democratic  allies around the world, Armenia must be included." In the letter to  Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader  Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), and House  Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), legislators cite Azerbaijan's  September 19th attack on Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and forced  displacement of Artsakh 120,000 indigenous Armenians.  "We are  particularly concerned that Azerbaijan will continue its aggression  by invading the sovereign territory of Armenia. Ominously, Aliyev  recently referred to southern Armenia as "western Azerbaijan" and  called for the "liberation" of eight Armenian villages along the  Azerbaijani border," state the congressional lawmakers.  They go on  to stress, "At this inflection point for the Caucasus, U.S.  leadership is needed to deter further Azerbaijani aggression and   enable Armenians to defend their democracy." Joining the Senator  Padilla and Rep. Eshoo in cosigning the bicameral, bipartisan letter  are Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Fetterman (D-PA), Edward  Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Debbie Stabenow  (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon  Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR); and Representatives Alma  Adams (D-NC), Gabe Amo (D- RI), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Joyce Beatty  (D-OH), Don Beyer (D-VA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Joaqu¡n Castro  (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL),  Madeleine Dean (D- PA), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh  Gottheimer (D-NJ), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D- CA), Andy Kim (D-NJ),  Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Susie Lee (D-NV), Ted  Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), James  McGovern (D-MA), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Grace Meng (D-NY), Grace  Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Frank Pallone  (D-NJ), Scott Peters (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Jamie Raskin  (D-MD), Deborah Ross (D-NC), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), John  Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad  Sherman (D-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), 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), David Trone  (D-MD), David Valadao (R-CA), and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY).  The full  text of the letter is available here:   https://anca.org/assets/pdf/120123_Padilla_Eshoo_Supplemental.pdf 

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