Senate Appropriations Committee Ensures Continued Funding to Artaskh

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill, which ensures continued funding to Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh), reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

The “Committee recommends assistance for the victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in amounts consistent with prior fiscal years, and for ongoing needs related to the conflict.” The Committee urges a peaceful resolution to the conflict, which, given Azerbaijan’s recent and unprecedented attacks against Armenia and Artsakh, underscores the importance of implementing an accurate cease-fire monitoring system along the line of contact.

In the Assembly’s testimony earlier this year to the Senate Appropriations Committee, Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny urged robust funding for Artsakh to help meet the ongoing humanitarian and development needs for its people.

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Armenian Assembly Website Hacked by Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a flagrant effort to undermine the work of the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly), a group of computer hackers, calling themselves “TheConficker,” attacked the Assembly’s site and replaced it with Azeri propaganda. They are linked to an Azerbaijan hacker group known as “Anti-Armenia Team.” The Assembly took prompt action and reclaimed control of its website.

Shortly after the cyber attack by Azeri nationals, Assembly Executive Director sent a letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. The Assembly brought this act of cyber terrorism to the FBI’s attention, citing instances of previous attacks by Azerbaijan and Turkey against the Armenian National Institute (ANI)
– a non-political, non-profit organized dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide – in 2016 and 2000. ANI is a sister organization of the Assembly.

Earlier this year, the Assembly informed the Senate and House Select Committees on Intelligence expressing concern regarding the undue influence of both Azerbaijan and Turkey on America’s democratic institutions. According to a recent report in The New Yorker magazine, Azerbaijan has ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) through the Mammadov family and the highest levels of the Azeri government, all of which have conducted business with American companies. Azerbaijan also continues to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Podesta Group, flaunting its caviar diplomacy.

The Assembly previously urged the Department of Justice to investigate the foreign trips illegally funded by Azerbaijan. “We respectfully request a full and thorough investigation by the Department of Justice into these groups and the full application of the law. The reported activities constitute plainly illegal behavior and strikes at the core of our Constitutional government through blatant foreign influence peddling,” the Assembly said in its letter to then Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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©(3) tax-exempt membership organization.