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.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, as the 115th Congress convened, Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) Board Member Annie Totah, along with Executive Director Bryan Ardouny, were on the Hill meeting with legislators in both the House and Senate.
Ardouny congratulated Armenian Caucus Leaders on their re-election, including Caucus Co-Chair Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Vice Co-Chair Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL). During the meeting with Rep. Bilirakis, they discussed several key issues as well as the Congressman’s new role as Vice Chair.
Since its inception, the Armenian Caucus has played a critical leadership role in the House of Representatives on a wide range of issues, including assistance programs for Armenia, humanitarian aid to Artsakh, trade initiatives, addressing the ongoing Azerbaijani and Turkish blockades against Armenia, the Nagorno Karabakh peace process, and U.S. reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide. Since independence, Armenia has not wavered from its commitment to the most important values shared with the United States: a commitment to democracy and a free market economy.
Long-time Assembly Board Member Totah extended her warm greetings to newly-elected Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), a long-time supporter of Armenian issues who defeated Turkish Caucus Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) in the Maryland primary. Totah and Ardouny also met with freshman Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD) who succeeds Rep. Edwards in the 4th Congressional District.
“As the 115th Congress gets started, it is reassuring to know that we have friends on both sides of the aisle who understand our issues and the importance of U.S.-Armenia and U.S.-Artsakh relationships. And now more than ever before, with a renewed sense of energy, we should dedicate ourselves diligently to address the issues and bring them to a satisfactory resolution,” stated Totah.
In addition to seeing House Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Armenian-American Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Ardouny met with House Republican Policy Chair Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), as well as with various congressional staff.
“We have an ambitious agenda for 2017 and we look forward to working with the new Congress and Administration to ensure that our key priorities are heard and acted upon,” Ardouny said.