More than 30 Reps Press for Pro-Armenia Aid Provisions

WASHINGTON—On March 20, 31 U.S. Representatives joined with Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) in encouraging leading House foreign aid appropriators to approve increased aid to Armenia, expanded assistance for Nagorno-Karabagh, targeted allocations for Javakhk, and refugee resettlement funding for displaced Christian Armenian populations in the Middle East, in the Fiscal Year 2013 foreign aid bill, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a letter sent to the leadership of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-Texas) and Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), a bi-partisan group of legislators made the case for supporting “the U.S.-Armenia strategic relationship through economic development and security assistance.” Their key requests were as follows:

— At least $5 million in U.S. aid to Nagorno-Karabagh.

— At least 10 percent of U.S. assistance to Georgia to be earmarked for job creation programs in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of that country.

— At least $50 million in U.S. economic aid to Armenia.

— Funds for humanitarian and resettlement assistance specifically targeted to Armenian and other Christian populations as well as other minority communities affected by the recent unrest in the Middle East.

— Language strengthening Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan.

— Removal of barriers to contact and communication with representatives of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic.

— Language calling for the participation of Nagorno-Karabagh leaders in the OSCE Minsk Group negotiations

Joining Pallone as signatories were Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.), Joe Baca (D-Calif.), Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), Howard Berman (D-Calif.), Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), Rush Holt (D-N.J.), Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Linda Sanchez (D-Cailf.), Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), Steven Rothman (D-N.J.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Bob Turner (R-N.Y.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

“Armenian Americans—and all friends of Armenia—share our appreciation with each and every member who supported this bi-partisan initiative to advance our interests and values in a vitally important region of the world,” said Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the ANCA. “We look forward to advocating for their ongoing efforts to support Armenia’s growth, Artsakh’s [Karabagh’s] security, Javakhk’s development, and the welfare of at-risk Armenians and other Christians in the Middle East.”

To view a full copy of the letter, click here.

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