WASHINGTON—Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) was joined this week by Congressional colleagues in calling on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations to expand U.S. aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh and support a number of other pro-Armenia provisions in the Fiscal Year 2012 foreign aid bill, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
“We join with Armenian Americans from across the country in thanking Congressman Pallone and each of the signatories to this letter for their principled support for Armenia’s growth, Artsakh’s security, and a fair and lasting peace for all the peoples of the Caucasus,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We will continue to work with legislators in both the House and Senate in seeking to ensure that each of the provisions in this letter are included in the final version of the foreign aid bill.”
In a May 20 letter to Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) and Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey (D-NY), the House members noted that “Armenia is a crucial ally in a strategic region of the world between Europe and the Middle East and it has extended its full support in the war on terror.” Regarding Nagorno Karabakh, the letter explained, “It is more important than ever that the United States maintain a principled stand for peace in this region and support Nagorno Karabakh. There is no question that Nagorno Karabakh is an example of how democracy can be born from conflict and progress into a popularly supported government.”
Over all, the Congressional Armenian Caucus members urged the key House foreign aid panel to include the following provisions in the FY2012 Foreign Aid bill:
- At least $60 million in economic support funds for Armenia.
- At least $10 million in development aid to Nagorno Karabakh.
- The strengthening of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act and maintaining military aid parity to Armenia and Azerbaijan.
- The removal of barriers to U.S.-Nagorno Karabakh contacts and communications.
- Support for the reinstatement of Nagorno Karabakh in the OSCE Minsk Group peace process.
- At least $10 million in military aid to Armenia.
Rep. Pallone was joined by 28 Congressional colleagues in cosigning the letter to the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee leadership, including: Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Joe Baca (D-CA), Shelley Berkley (D-NV), Howard Berman (D-CA), Bruce Braley (D-IA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Elton Gallegly (R-CA), Rush Holt (D-NJ), James Langevin (D-RI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Edward Markey (D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Henry Waxman (D-CA).