Politics 13:08 04/11/2023 World

Rep. Pallone stresses urgent need for U.S. humanitarian aid to Karabakh refugees

Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) submitted the following testimony to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs during the annual Member Day Hearing on Friday:

“Chairman McCaul and Ranking Member Meeks, thank you for this opportunity to share several of my priorities that are under the jurisdiction of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. As Co-Chair of the Armenia Caucus, I would like to highlight the grave and urgent need for humanitarian assistance for more than 100,000 refugees who were forced to abandon their homeland in response to Azerbaijan’s violent military aggression against the Armenian population of Nagorno Karabakh. I would also like to highlight the need to counter the destabilizing actions of autocrats and support our democratic allies and partners around the world.

First, I would like to highlight legislation I introduced in September that is under your Committee’s jurisdiction, the Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression Act of 2023 (H.R. 5683). Sadly, after I introduced this legislation, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive to ethnically cleanse the area of its native Armenian population that dates back thousands of years. There are aspects of this bill that I believe the Committee should take up. This includes sanctions against the autocratic Azeri regime that rules the country and those responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes. My legislation also includes $30 million in humanitarian aid, $10 million in assistance for Armenia through the foreign military financing program at the Department of State, $650 million in annual assistance to the Armenian energy sector for fiscal years 2024 through 2026, and $50 million for fiscal years 2024 through 2028 to promote United States-Armenian cooperation on science and technology.

However, given the situation on the ground after the most recent aggression by Azerbaijan, I would recommend the following:

First, given the dire plights of the refugees from Nagorno Karabakh, Congress and the Biden Administration must provide as much humanitarian support as possible. The Armenian government has identified $1 billion in urgent housing needs for the over 100,000 refugees who were forced to abandon their homeland. These people have lost almost everything, from their basic possessions to their family homes.

Second, these refugees also require assistance with educational, medical, social protection, and other needs, which is estimated to cost $360 million annually for at least the next two years. Since the United States was unable to stop this humanitarian disaster from unfolding, we must and should do our part to help these refugees during this vulnerable time.

Finally, Congress must repeal the waiver of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act of 1992. This section of my legislation prohibits United States assistance to Azerbaijan until the President determines and notifies Congress that “the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.” In the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, Congress gave the President the authority to waive Section 907 and issue annual extensions for the provision of assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan if the President determines and certifies that certain criteria are met. For years this extension has been granted and the Aliyev regime has become more emboldened and repressive. Given the continued military assaults on Armenia and the ethnic cleansing of Nagorno-Karabakh, we must take a stand.

Furthermore, we must work to counter autocrats who have been destabilizing so much of the world. We have rightfully confronted Putin with sanctions and support for Ukraine. There are other autocrats, like Azerbaijan’s Aliyev or Turkey’s Erdogan, who have caused havoc in the lives of ordinary people around the world. These relationships should be examined, especially our relationship with the Republic of Turkey, whose President has declared Putin a friend, has said our SDF partners in the war against ISIS are terrorists, and most recently declared that Hamas, the organization responsible for the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, are not terrorists but in fact freedom fighters. I can find no reason why we should continue to enable and offer military equipment to an autocrat so opposed to our nation’s values.

As a founding member and co-chair of the Armenia Caucus, as well as a committed supporter of democracies around the world, I believe we should send a clear message to our friends and adversaries by taking the measures outlined above. The United States must be a partner to all those who share common values, including upholding democracy, human rights, and the sovereignty of all nations. I look forward to working with the Committee and its members and staff on increasing and sustaining U.S. engagement with fledgling and established democracies.

Thank you for your consideration of my requests.”



Source Panorama.am
Share |

Related news

Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

17:00
Inna Sahakyan joins jury of world's largest animation festival
Filmmaker Inna Sahakyan will serve on the jury for this year’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, the Armenian...
16:36
Statement on border delimitation deal violates Armenian laws, activist claims
The statement on a border delimitation agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan issued by the Armenian Foreign Ministry on Friday runs counter...
16:00
Azerbaijan 'restoring' Shushi's Realni School
After 2020, Shushi has become the focal point of Azerbaijan's efforts to erase, appropriate, and expropriate Armenian historical and...
15:35
Pashinyan: Russian border guards will leave Tavush
Russian border guards will leave Armenia’s Tavush Province following the delimitation of the border with Azerbaijan, Prime Minister Nikol...
15:05
109-year-old Armenian Genocide survivor honored at Mass. State House
Thundering applause filled the House of Representatives chamber at the Massachusetts State House Friday morning, as lawmakers and visitors...
14:36
Armenian interior minister meets with protesters in Tavush
Armenia’s Interior Minister Vahe Ghazaryan on Saturday travelled to the village of Kirants in Tavush Province to meet with local residents...
14:04
Azerbaijan completely destroys Ghazanchetsots cemetery in Shushi
Satellite imagery dated April 4 shows that the destruction of the Ghazanchetsots cemetery in...
13:37
Armenian expert slams land handover to Azerbaijan
Political analyst Edgar Elbakyan has denounced the planned handover of four border villages in Armenia’s Tavush Province to Azerbaijan,...
13:04
Protesters block street in Yerevan
A group of people staged a protest near Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Saturday after the Armenian authorities announced a border...
12:30
Blinken welcomes Armenia-Azerbaijan border delimitation deal
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has welcomed Friday's agreement on the delimitation of the state border between Armenia and...
12:06
Armenian border residents protest land handover to Azerbaijan
Residents of several communities in Armenia’s Tavush Province on Saturday resumed protests against the planned land handover to...
11:30
UN chief welcomes Armenia-Azerbaijan border delimitation agreement
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed Friday's agreement on the delimitation of the state border between Armenia and...
11:15
Armenia's Vahagn Davtyan wins gold at Gymnastics World Cup
Vahagn Davtyan of the Armenian gymnastics team has clinched a gold medal at the Gymnastics World Cup in Doha. Davtyan scored a total...
11:00
Valuable manuscripts being restored at Armenian Museum of America
Yerevan's Matenadaran is actively supporting the restoration of manuscripts from partner institutions abroad. Currently, the head of the...
17:06
Armenian villagers protest over lack of irrigation water
More than a hundred residents of Vardanashen, a village in Armenia’s Armavir Province, on Friday blocked the Yerevan-Margara highway...
16:45
Angelina Jolie accuses Brad Pitt of trying to 'bleed her dry'
It's a breakup that's lasted almost as long as the relationship that preceded it. Dubbed 'the war of the rosés,'...
16:35
Court in Yerevan rejects police lawsuit against oppositionist
The Administrative Court in Yerevan has rejected a lawsuit filed by the police against Karen Vrtanesyan, an expert on military and warfare...
15:59
Exhibition of sculptures dedicated to Charles Aznavour to be held in Yerevan
Yerevan's Two Arcs Art Space will be hosting an interactive exhibition of sculptures created by sculptor Mkrtich Mazmanian and...
15:40
Ruben Vardanyan launches hunger strike in Baku, demands release of all Armenian prisoners
The family of illegally detained philanthropist, Ruben Vardanyan, announced today that he entered into a hunger strike to demand the immediate...
15:06
Lavrov: Russia still considers Armenia an ally
Russia still considers Armenia an ally not only legally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said, highlighting Moscow's...
14:33
Stepantsminda-Larsi road closed to trucks
The Rescue Service has warned drivers about closed roads in Armenia on Friday afternoon. In particular, the roads linking the Amberd high...
14:14
Expert: What Russia gains from troop withdrawal from Artsakh?
The withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) could signal a new conspiracy against Armenia, says Armen Petrosyan, a...
13:34
Opposition MP: Pashinyan lying about possible territory swap with Azerbaijan
Opposition MP Tigran Abrahamyan has brushed aside Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s claims about a possible swap of territories with...
12:34
Cyprus parliament honors Armenian Genocide victims
The Cyprus House of Representatives on Thursday evening observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the Armenian genocide, with the...
12:15
EFJ and UJA demand immediate release of Narek Samsonyan and Vazgen Saghatelyan
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliate in Armenia, the Union of Journalists of Armenia (UJA), in denouncing the...
11:36
Baku must fulfil number of requirements to return to PACE, rapporteur says
Norwegian MP Lise Christoffersen, a PACE co-rapporteur on Azerbaijan, said that the Committee of Ministers is holding talks on Azerbaijan's...
11:16
Azerbaijan destroyed Kanach Zham in Shushi
Azerbaijan has destroyed the Armenian church of St. Hovhannes Mkrtich (St. John the Baptist) in Shushi, Artsakh, the Caucasus...
11:00
Iranian air defenses down three drones near Isfahan
Iranian state media said the country’s air defences brought down three small drones over the central city of Isfahan, hours after United...
17:05
Political prisoner Vazgen Saghatelyan blasts Pashinyan for crackdown on critics
Political prisoner Vazgen Saghatelyan, co-host of the Imnemnimi podcast who is currently held in pre-trial detention in the Armavir...
16:34
Iran threatens Israeli nuclear sites should its own be attacked
Iran could review its nuclear doctrine, says a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, according to state media agency Tasnim....

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}