WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Congressional Armenian Caucus is calling upon Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY) of the Appropriations Subcommittee of Foreign Operations to back a $70 million Fiscal Year 2020 aid package for Artsakh and Armenia, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“In the wake of the Republic of Armenia’s remarkable and unprecedented Velvet Revolution, we invite you to sign a letter in support of strengthening the US-Armenian partnership and bolstering the country’s civil society and democratic institutions,” began the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter circulated yesterday by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), which included the following budgetary requests:
— 30 million for economic governance, and rule of law assistance to Armenia through State Department and USAID accounts.
— $10 million for military aid for Armenia through Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military and Education Training (IMET) programs.
— $20 million for Armenia to be a regional “safe haven” for refugees.
— $6 million for Artsakh demining, rehabilitation programs, and water supply systems.
— $4 million for implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals, including placement of OSCE-monitored, advanced gunfire locator systems.
— That the State Department and USAID lift any official or unofficial restrictions on U.S. travel, communication, or contacts with Artsakh government officials.
— The suspension of U.S. military aid for Azerbaijan until it has been verified to have ceased all attacks against Armenia and Artsakh.
“We want to thank Congressman Pallone and his colleagues in the leadership of the Armenian Caucus for seeking the support of their U.S. House colleagues for a robust aid package for Artsakh and Armenia,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Following Armenia’s historic Velvet Revolution, U.S. assistance can play a critical role in the expansion of Armenia’s economic, defense, and democracy development, and return long-term dividends for U.S. security and economic interests, while helping to advance American values across the region for decades to come.”
The dollar amounts and policy priorities requested by the Armenian Caucus, which annually spearheads bipartisan efforts to secure support for Armenian-related aid appropriation, align with ANCA testimony presented to the House panel tasked with writing the FY2020 foreign aid bill.