Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed a bipartisan letter, led by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Todd Young (R-IN), calling for funds to support demining in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
The letter, which was addressed to the Senate Appropriations Committee, requests $2 million for Conventional Weapons Destruction programs, in order to rectify the heavy damages to Artsakh following the 44-day war last Fall launched by Azerbaijan, with the full and open support of Turkey.
The letter states in part: "The recent conflict in Nagorno Karabakh resulted in enormous levels of contamination by cluster munitions, rockets, and other explosive ordnance. These hazards are still present near homes, and litter farms and streets – presenting a grave humanitarian risk. Further, the removal of explosives is critical to continuing to rebuild infrastructure decimated during the conflict."
By allocating $2 million for Fiscal Year 2022, it will "allow for ordnance removal efforts activities to scale up and ensure families can return to their livelihoods without fear of explosive threats."
"U.S. support of demining in Artsakh is critical and a necessary step towards rebuilding Artsakh in the aftermath of the devastating war," said Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. "We appreciate the efforts of Senators Van Hollen and Young, and the support of their colleagues in advancing the safety and security of the people of Artsakh."
Joining Senators Van Hollen and Young on the letter are Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-OR), Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Raphael G. Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
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.