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Pallone, Caucus Co-Chairs Applaud Inclusion of Robust Funding for Armenia and Artsakh in the Foreign Affairs Spending Bill

June 30, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), Jackie Speier (CA-14), and Adam B. Schiff (CA-28) announced significant economic assistance for the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the Fiscal Year 2022 State and Foreign Relations funding legislation. The bill includes a minimum of $50 million to bolster Armenia’s democratic, economic, and energy reforms while also offering flexibility to address the ongoing humanitarian needs in Artsakh linked to last year’s 44-day war. It also includes an additional $2 million in funding for demining and unexploded ordnances clearing operations in Artsakh.

“We are pleased with the unprecedented support for Armenia included in the Fiscal Year 2022 funding bill, which sends a clear signal that the United States is ready and willing to heavily invest in the Armenian people. This funding will help Armenia to bolster its democracy, sustain and improve its economic development, strengthen the rule of law, and alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh. This would not be possible without the efforts of our Caucus colleagues, especially [Appropriations State and Foreign Relations Subcommittee] Chairwoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), and the Armenian American community who strongly advocated for a robust increase in funding.

“We will build upon this strong commitment to the U.S.-Armenia relationship by pushing for additional dedicated aid for the people of Armenia and Artsakh in their time of need. We will also continue to strongly urge the Biden Administration to take every diplomatic action necessary to initiate the immediate release of all remaining Armenian detainees and prisoners of war from Azerbaijani custody and halt their ongoing aggressions in the region. This should include the withholding of US assistance and the implementation of targeted economic sanctions against the Aliyev regime.”

Last September, Azerbaijan, actively aided by Turkey and foreign mercenaries, initiated a deadly invasion of Artsakh that led to six weeks of devastating fighting that killed more than5,000 people and forced more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians to flee their homes. Artsakh and Armenia continue to grapple with an ongoing humanitarian crisis that resulted from the invasion. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan continues to provocatively station troops in Armenian territory while falsely declaring the land as its own and illegally holding ethnic Armenians as detainees and prisoners of war in contravention of international human rights law.

A copy of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee bill report is available HERE.

A copy of a letter sent by the Caucus Co-Chairs to the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee on April 28 is available HERE.