Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Washington, D.C. – The final version of the Fiscal Year 2021 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill includes language requiring an assessment as to who initiated the war against Artsakh, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). The bill is included as part of a year-end package that wraps up the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations process.
The language put forward by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) requires, among other provisions, assessments by the Director of National Intelligence as to who initiated the attack on Artsakh, as well as on the impact of U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan and its ramifications on the regional balance of power.
The bill also reinstates Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which restricts U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan due to its hostile and offensive actions against Armenia and Artsakh. Earlier this year, the Administration waived Section 907, which lifts certain restrictions contained in the original language of the bill. The Assembly has repeatedly urged the Administration to fully enforce this principled provision of law.
“We appreciate the efforts of Chairman Schiff and the assessment requirements in the bill. Azerbaijan must be held accountable for its attack against the Armenian people and its egregious human rights violations,” stated Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan.
Despite calls for robust humanitarian aid for the Armenian people, the final bill did not specifically allocate additional funding. In an impassioned speech last month on the floor of the United States Senate, Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) called for $100 million in aid to help the Armenian people. In the aftermath of the six-week war, the Armenian Assembly also called for $100 million in urgent U.S. humanitarian assistance for the people of Artsakh and Armenia.
“With a new Congress and Administration at the helm in two weeks, the Assembly will continue to advocate for robust aid to help the Armenian people recover and rebuild,” Khaloyan added.
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.