CO-CHAIR PALLONE’S TESTIMONY
CALLING FOR SUSPENSION OF MILITARY AID TO AZERBAIJAN
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed testimony before the House Armed Services Committee by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ) regarding provisions of the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
In his testimony, Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Pallone highlighted the ongoing “intimidation and cross-border attacks against Armenia and Artsakh” by Azerbaijan and raised concerns about the security assistance allocated to Azerbaijan through the Section 333 Building Partner Capacity Program (BPCP). Congressman Pallone stated that such assistance was “wholly counterintuitive to the U.S. peace mission in the South Caucasus Region” and “defies almost two decades of parity in U.S. security assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan.” Congressman Pallone, therefore, called on the Armed Services Committee to include language in the NDAA that would:
- Suspend U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan until its government “ceases attacks against Armenia and Artsakh and agrees to the peaceful resolution of regional conflicts.”
- Establish reporting requirements with respect to assistance provided under the BPCP and prevent funds from going “to human rights abusing regimes” like Azerbaijan.
- Add a certification requirement to Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.
- Increase military assistance to Armenia.
“The Armenian Assembly greatly appreciates Congressman Pallone’s testimony, which raises critically important issues,” stated Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. “Just yesterday, Azerbaijan once again targeted Armenian villages wounding servicemen and a child. The unprovoked attack was condemned by the Armenian government,” Khaloyan added. “Given Azerbaijan’s ongoing and deadly attacks against the Armenian people, we fully support Congressman Pallone’s timely testimony,” concluded Khaloyan.
Congressman Pallone also stated that the bill should “reflect our unwavering commitment to building democracy and a stronger geo-strategic relationship with the Republic of Armenia” as well as prioritizing a lasting peace with respect to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
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.