Calls for All Military Funding To Be Cut To Azerbaijan
Washington, D.C. – Today, in a letter to the President of the United States, along with discussions and advocacy, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) urged the Administration to dramatically shift its policies given Azerbaijan’s attacks against Armenia.
The letter by Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian states in part, “Azerbaijan’s ongoing attacks on Christian Armenia that started on Sunday July 12 with the active support and encouragement of Turkey should signal the need for a dramatic shift in your Administration’s policies in the region.” The Assembly emphasized the most telling point in the current round of fighting – that after the 2016 Four-Day War, the parties were to implement increased monitoring and an investigative mechanism to help ensure cease-fire compliance. Only Azerbaijan has blocked those measures, so that its lobbyists and government can try to cover up more atrocities.
The Assembly Co-Chairs cited ongoing concerns regarding the over $100 million disparity in U.S. security assistance between Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as the Administration’s deferential posture vis-a-vis Turkey on matters ranging from recognition of the Armenian Genocide to its own blockade of Armenia and military support to Azerbaijan, which the Assembly Co-Chairs stated “have clearly contributed to the Aliyev regime’s emboldened breaches of the cease-fire and the taking of innocent civilian lives.”
Given that Azerbaijan has repeatedly targeted civilian-populated areas and has openly threatened to bomb Armenia’s nuclear plant, which is strictly dedicated to civilian energy use under international supervision, and given Baku’s ongoing intransigence with respect to the Nagorno Karabakh peace process, the Co-Chairs called on the Administration to immediately cut all military funding to Azerbaijan and to restore military aid parity with Armenia.
In addition, the Co-Chairs urged the President to “send a clear public message to Turkey that its support of anything except respect for the agreed cease-fire only signals that it is working to complete the Armenian Genocide committed during the Ottoman Empire.”
Finally, the letter requests that the “Administration enforce the substance of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act and Section 620(I) of the Foreign Assistance Act, (commonly known as the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act), and revoke the executive waivers issued therein which have been routinely provided.”
The Assembly has also taken further actions with Congress and the Administration, emphasizing that until the Aliyev regime can show a sustainable and enforceable commitment to a cease-fire and the cessation of attacks on civilians, peace is impossible.
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.