Padilla, Eshoo Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Letter Requesting Aid for Armenia in Upcoming National Security Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.-16) led a bipartisan group of 60 lawmakers in calling on Congressional leadership to request the inclusion of military and humanitarian aid for Armenia in upcoming national security supplemental appropriations legislation.

In September of this year, Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked military offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), displacing over 100,000 ethnic Armenians from their homeland and ending their more than three decades of self-rule. The assault has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis, with Armenia absorbing tens of thousands of refugees.

In their letter, the bipartisan group of lawmakers request that at least $10 million in military aid for Armenia be included in the supplemental appropriations bill to deter further Azerbaijani aggression. The lawmakers also voiced support for including robust humanitarian aid in the legislation and argued that a portion of these funds should be made available to Armenia to meet the needs of the thousands of refugees who were forced from their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh.

“We strongly support the inclusion of funds in any supplemental appropriations bill to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia security partnership and help address the severe humanitarian challenges caused by Azerbaijan’s recent aggression,” wrote the lawmakers. “As a small democracy in a region dominated by autocrats, Armenia is particularly vulnerable. This is especially true now that Armenia has distanced itself from Russia, Armenia’s traditional security guarantor, in pursuit of closer ties with western democracies.”

“At this inflection point for the Caucasus, U.S. leadership is needed to deter further Azerbaijani aggression and enable Armenians to defend their democracy,” continued the lawmakers.

“We thank Congresswoman Eshoo and Senator Padilla for partnering in this bicameral call on President Biden to invest in Armenia’s security and meaningfully support Artsakh’s refugees,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Any spending measure needs to include increased military aid to Armenia and robust humanitarian assistance for displaced Armenians from Artsakh.”

“We commend Senator Padilla and Representative Eshoo for spearheading this bipartisan letter urging security assistance to Armenia as well as humanitarian aid for the Armenian people of Artsakh,” said Armenian Assembly of America Congressional Relations Director, Mariam Khaloyan. “We strongly support the inclusion of funds in any supplemental appropriations bill to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia security partnership and help address the severe humanitarian challenges caused by Azerbaijan’s recent aggression.”

In addition to Senator Padilla and Representative Eshoo, the letter is signed by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), John Fetterman (D-Pa.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), as well as Representatives Alma Adams (D-N.C.-12), Gabe Amo (D-R.I.-01), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.-04), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio-03), Donald Beyer, Jr. (D-Va.-08), Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.-29), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas-20), Judy Chu (D-Calif.-28), Jim Costa (D-Calif.-21), Danny Davis (D-Ill.-07), Madeleine Dean (D-Penn.-04), Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.-10), Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.-34), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.-05), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Calif.-37), Andy Kim (D-N.J.-03), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.-08), Michael Lawler (R-N.Y.-17), Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.-36), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.-18), Seth Magaziner (D-R.I.-02), James McGovern (D-Mass.-02), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.-08), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.-06), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.-31), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.-06), Scott Peters (D-Calif.-50), Katie Porter (D-Calif.-47), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.-08), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.-02), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.-02), John Sarbanes (D-Md.-03), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.-09), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.-30), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.-32), Christopher Smith (R-N.J.-04), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.-07), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.-11), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.-14), Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.-12), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.-20), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.-03), David Trone (D-Md.-06), David Valadao (R-Calif.-22), and Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.-07).

Full text of the letter is available here and below:

Dear Speaker Johnson, Majority Leader Schumer, Minority Leader Jeffries, and Minority Leader McConnell,

As Congress considers supplemental funding to enhance the security of our allies, we would like to highlight a vulnerable democracy that warrants American support: the Republic of Armenia.

We strongly support the inclusion of funds in any supplemental appropriations bill to strengthen the U.S.-Armenia security partnership and help address the severe humanitarian challenges caused by Azerbaijan’s recent aggression.

On September 19th, Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked military offensive on Nagorno-Karabakh, displacing 120,000 ethnically Armenian civilians from their homeland and ending their more than three decades of self-rule. The assault was the culmination of a cruel blockade that deprived the region’s population of food, medicine, and other necessities for nearly ten months. Azerbaijan’s aggression has resulted in a devastating humanitarian crisis, with Armenia absorbing tens of thousands of refugees.

Now that Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev has reshaped the region using military force, we fear that he is emboldened to do so again. We are particularly concerned that Azerbaijan will continue its aggression by invading the sovereign territory of Armenia. Ominously, Aliyev recently referred to southern Armenia as “western Azerbaijan” and called for the “liberation” of eight Armenian villages along the Azerbaijani border.

As a small democracy in a region dominated by autocrats, Armenia is particularly vulnerable. This is especially true now that Armenia has distanced itself from Russia, Armenia’s traditional security guarantor, in pursuit of closer ties with western democracies. We believe the U.S. has an important role to play in ensuring Armenia’s security is not jeopardized because of its decision to break away from Putin’s murderous regime.

At this inflection point for the Caucasus, U.S. leadership is needed to deter further Azerbaijani aggression and enable Armenians to defend their democracy. To this end, we respectfully request that at least $10 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Armenia be included in the forthcoming supplemental appropriations package. We are also pleased that the President’s supplemental request includes robust funding for humanitarian aid, and we’re hopeful that a portion of these funds will be made available to Armenia to meet the humanitarian needs of the 120,000 refugees who were recently forced from their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of our requests and for your commitment to strengthening American support for vulnerable democracies throughout the world.

Sincerely,

###

Related Issues
Print
Share
Like
Tweet
This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.