Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America and the United States Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues leadership congratulated Artsakh on its 31st Independence Day. Armenian Caucus leaders Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA), reiterated their support in the face of the "ongoing challenges and threats posed by Azerbaijan" in a letter addressed to Artsakh Republic President Arayik Harutyunyan.
"We are pushing the United States government to take every available diplomatic action possible to penalize the Azerbaijani and Turkish regimes for their attacks on Artsakh in 2020 and their deadly actions that continue to this day," the letter emphasized. "This conflict demonstrates the dire need for international actors to pressure President Aliyev into halting his blatant human rights violations and return in good faith to negotiations."
The Armenian Caucus leadership reassured President Harutyunyan that they are urging the Biden Administration to allocate aid to displaced families from Artsakh.
Assembly Co-Chairs Van Krikorian and Anthony Barsamian stated: "We salute democracy in action in celebrating Artsakh's Independence Day and thank the Armenian Caucus and the Biden Administration. The recent high level appointment of a new U.S. Co-Chair to the OSCE Minsk Group, multiple other actions, and commitment to finding peace based on those principles is important to preventing another genocide by the Aliyev and Erdogan regimes."
Also today, on the occasion of Artsakh's anniversary, a bipartisan letter spearheaded by Rep. Pallone and signed by 49 Members of Congress, was sent to the Administration urging humanitarian aid to the Armenian people in Artsakh. House representatives highlighted the hardships caused by the 44-day war launched by Azerbaijan, with the full and open support of Turkey and Turkish-recruited and transported jihadist terrorists, which cost the lives of innocent civilians and thousands of young soldiers, while Armenian prisoners of war remain captive. In addition, the letter states that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has "acknowledged that over 90,000 refugees displaced to Armenia, the majority of whom are women, children, and elderly, are suffering through an acute humanitarian crisis." While noting that the U.S. government has funded landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance efforts and has secured millions of dollars of direct aid for humanitarian assistance initiatives, the letter stressed that the "need for this assistance has only grown due to Azerbaijan’s indiscriminate bombing campaigns in 2020 and the ongoing provocations by their troops which further endanger food, water, energy, and other critical resources for these communities." In addition to Rep. Pallone, the following Members of Congress signed the letter: Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), André Carson (D-IN), Judy Chu (D-CA), J. Louis Correa (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Jim Costa (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jason Crow (D-CO), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), James Himes (D-CT), William Keating (D-MA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), Rick Larsen (D-WA), John Larson (D-CT), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Susie Lee (D-NV), Mike Levin (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Scott Peters (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), David Trone (D-MD), and David Valadao (R-CA). In Artsakh, celebrations for Independence Day, including a march and rally dedicated to the proclamation of the Republic of Artsakh, are taking place this evening in Stepanakert's Freedom Square. In Washington D.C. on Monday, September 19, 2022, the Republic of Artsakh's Minister of Foreign Affairs David Babayan will be the keynote speaker at the event "A Capitol Hill Salute to Artsakh's Independence," which will also include remarks by Members of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.