WASHINGTON—Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders commended the Republic of Artsakh’s “commitment to advance democratic governance and to the will of your people,” restating their bipartisan support for Artsakh’s full participation in Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group-led peace talk, as the Republic celebrated 27 years of independence, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“The ANCA joins Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders in celebrating 27-years of Artsakh independence, extending our congratulations to the people of Artsakh for their ongoing commitment to the democracy, prosperity, and security of their Republic,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We continue to work closely with U.S. federal, state and local leaders to strengthen Artsakh security through the implementation of Royce-Engel peace proposals, expanded U.S. assistance for demining and healthcare, and the removal of barriers to U.S.-Artsakh travel and communication.”
We believe that Artsakh has earned the right to participate in the ongoing negotiations at the Organization for Security andCooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group by continually acting asan exemplar of democracy, peace, and freedom in the region.
In their September 2nd letter to Republic of Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Trott (R-MI) and David Valadao (R-CA) and Vice-Chairs Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) cited the “important progress Artsakh has made in the areas of human rights, strengthening the rule of law and increasing transparency through government reforms.” They reiterated the importance of Artsakh’s direct participation in OSCE Minsk Group negotiations, noting, “In order to ensure a durable and democratic resolution to the regional issues your country currently faces, we believe that Artsakh must be allowed to directly participate in negotiations regarding its future status and security.”
The full text of the letter is provided at http://anca.org/assets/pdf/
Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), who, along with Co-Chair David Valadao (R-CA) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) visited Arstaskh last year, is spearheading legislation, supported by the ANCA, calling for Artsakh’s inclusion in OSCE peace talks. The U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communication Resolution (H.Res.697) would also lift barriers to expanded U.S. dialogue with Artsakh.
The Senate and House are currently working to finalize U.S. assistance levels to Artsakh as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 foreign aid bill. In June, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted a report specifically calling for U.S. support for “humanitarian and health programs,” including for “regional rehabilitation centers to care for infants, children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities.” The move prioritizes U.S. funding for programs like the Lady Cox Rehabilitation Center, located in the Artsakh’s capital, Stepanakert, which has helped over 15,000 patients over the past 20 years.
For a complete overview of the ANCA’s efforts in support of Artsakh peace and freedom, visit http://anca.org/anca360pdf