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 Wednesday, May 22 2024 10:30
Marianna Mkrtchyan

ANCA Congressional Testimony calls for $200mln aid for Artsakh  refugees; sanctions for Azerbaijani war crimes

ANCA Congressional Testimony calls for $200mln aid for Artsakh  refugees; sanctions for Azerbaijani war crimes

ArmInfo.The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) called on key Senate Committees to  pressure the Biden Administration to cut all military aid and sanction Azerbaijan's genocidal leaders while allocating $200 million in U.S. assistance to survivors of the Artsakh Genocide.

    In testimony submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and  Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, ANCA Government  Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan explained that in the wake of  Azerbaijan's 2023 genocidal assault and ethnic cleansing of Artsakh's  150,000 indigenous Armenian population, Congress must take decisive  action. "We ask the Committee to press the Biden Administration to  abandon its reckless policy of false parity and, instead,  forthrightly condemn Azerbaijan's aggression by taking actions that  demonstrate a willingness to hold Baku accountable for its criminal  behavior," stated Yerimyan.

    The ANCA testimony was timed with committee hearings this week  featuring Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is defending  President Biden's Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget request.  Yerimyan  urged Congress to "continue full enforcement" of Section 907  restrictions on U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan.  She went on to call  for Committee support for requesting a report on Azerbaijan's human  rights practices pursuant to Section 502B(c) of the Foreign  Assistance Act through passage of S.Res.540.  "The findings of this  report will strengthen the case to cut all military assistance to  Azerbaijan and hold other allies, like Turkey, accountable for  selling or transferring U.S. arms to Azerbaijan for use against  innocent Armenian civilians," argued Yerimyan.

      The ANCA called on Committees to "conduct oversight of the  Administration's low levels of humanitarian assistance to Artsakh's  150,000 refugees" and urged their FY2025 foreign aid legislation to  include $200 million U.S. aid to Artsakh refugees, reiterating their  right to return to their homes under international guarantees.  "Our  current failed U.S. policy in the Caucasus features lectures on  democracy to democratic Armenia, ships U.S. tax-payer funded military  aid to dictatorial Azerbaijan, and provides almost no assistance at  all to at-risk Artsakh refugees. That must change," stated Yerimyan.

    The ANCA also urged the Congressional committees to follow up on  Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights submissions to the  Departments of State and Treasury, detailing evidence and demanding  Global Magnitsky sanctions on 40+ senior Azerbaijani officials for  war crimes and rights abuses during their blockade and aggression  against Artsakh.

    Yerimyan condemned the Biden Administration's decision to send U.S.  Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mark Libby to the ethnically cleansed  Artsakh city of Shushi, despite an expressed U.S. policy of  suspending high-level meetings while Azerbaijan illegally imprisons  Artsakh leaders and Armenian POWs, continues to occupy sovereign  Armenian territory, and uses coercion to unilateral Armenian land  concessions.  "As long as Azerbaijan believes there is more to gain  through coercion than through negotiations, Armenia will face a  threat to its very existence," argued Yerimyan.

   

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