Congressional Armenian Caucus Urges to Restore U.S. Military Aid Parity to Armenia and Azerbaijan
For the second time in less than two months, Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders have called on the U.S. Departments of State and Defense to restore military aid parity to Armenia and Azerbaijan, or risk emboldening an already aggressive Azerbaijani government to escalate its attacks against Armenia and Artsakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We join with Reps. Pallone, Schiff, and Speier in challenging the Administration’s reckless military aid tilt toward Azerbaijan’s corrupt Aliyev regime,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “In light of Azerbaijan’s relentless aggression, we call on Congress to zero-out any and all security assistance to Baku, or – at the very least – match every dollar in military aid to Azerbaijan with another to Armenia.”
In September, 2019, Congressional Armenian Caucus founding Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Co-Chair Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Vice-Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) expressed concerns to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper about the proposed significant increase in security assistance to Azerbaijan for Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019, totaling $102 million, compared to $7 million in military assistance to Armenia over the same period. They noted that Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, adopted in 1992, prohibits aid to Azerbaijan due to its ongoing blockade and aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.
“While the State Department has the authority to extend a waiver of Section 907, we do not believe the waiver the State Department noticed on April 18, 2019, is an appropriate use of this authority considering Azerbaijan’s continued efforts to destabilize the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and given the ruling regime of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s documented culture of corruption and oppressive tactics against dissenters,” stated Representatives Pallone, Speier, and Schiff in their September 27th letter.
In response to State and Defense Department assertions that $102 million in security aid to Azerbaijan “will neither undermine efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan, nor be used for offensive purposes against Armenia,” Representatives Pallone, Speier and Schiff were adamant.
“Without question, the increase of security assistance to Azerbaijan creates an imbalance in the region and ignores a twenty-year precedent in U.S. foreign policy. We are concerned that rewarding Armenia’s autocratic neighbor with this windfall at such a time of historic change in Armenia sends negative signals about the importance we place on democratic values. Returning to parity in military assistance is the only way the U.S. will be able to retain its credibility as a regional power capable of bringing Azerbaijan and Armenia together.”
In their November 18th letter, the Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders go on to request that Armenia be provided with “training and equipment to build partner capacity that will help secure its borders and create military parity in funding with Azerbaijan. This funding would increase Armenia’s capacity for counterterrorism, counter-illicit drug trafficking, and weapons of mass destruction interdiction operations – especially on its southern border with Iran. We also ask for robust funding of confidence-building measures on each side of the border between Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh, and Armenia – including those that would implement the 2015 Royce-Engel Peace Proposal – to establish a clearer pathway to peace for all parties in this conflict.”
Armenia's MFA Strongly Condemns Attempts of Azerbaijan on Targeting Population of Chinari and Aygepar Villages
Armenian Army's General Staff Received Russia's Ambassador to Armenia
Armenia's MFA Strongly Condemns Turkey's Attempts to Instigate Instability in Our Region
PM: Armenia’s Armed Forces Keep the Situation Under Full Control: no Provocative Action Goes Unanswered
OSCE MG Co-Chairs Condemn Ceasefire Violations
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh
Azerbaijani Side Fired Three Projectiles from a 120 mm Caliber Mortar in the Direction of Armenia's Chinar Settlement
Lives of 3 Armenian Soldiers, 2 Police Officers Wounded by Azerbaijani Shooting not Under Danger
Russian FM Calls Yerevan and Baku for Immediate Ceasefire
CSTO Special Session Postponed for Indefinite Period
Phone Conversation of Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan with Sergey Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia
Russian MFA Expresses Concern Over Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani Border
Armenian Ombudsman’s Office Sends Interim Report on Tavush Shelling to International Structures
Toivo Klaar Expresses Concern on "Exchange of Fire on Armenia-Azerbaijan Border"
Minister of Healthcare: In Armenia 650 Patients in Serious or Critical Condition
Armenia Extends State of Emergency
Operative Situation on Artsakh and Azerbaijani Armed Forces' Line of Contact Was Mostly Calm at Night
Two Armenian Police Officers Slightly Injured in Azerbaijani Shooting
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will Start Operating Flights on the Route Abu Dhabi –Yerevan- Abu Dhabi
The Armenian Armed Forces are not Firing on the Azerbaijani Settlements
Ancient Armenian Church Surfaces from under Lake Van
Anouch Toraninan Elected Head of 15th Arrondissement of Paris
Armenia’s Government Should Oppose Turkey Attempts to Take Over Armenian Properties in Jerusalem
Turkey Drew Up Plans to Invade Greece and Armenia: Jerusalem Post
Government Approves 22nd Anti-Crisis Program: Unemployed Citizens to Receive Lump-Sum Assistance at the Rate of the Minimum Wage
Comment by the Spokesperson of the MFA of Armenia Anna Naghdalyan on the Remarks of the President of Azerbaijan During the Opening on N Military Unit
The Authorities of the Republic of Artsakh Confirm Their Determination to Seek the Restoration of the Territorial Integrity of the Republic: Artsakh MFA
Armenian Woman is Elected Mayor of France’s Strasbourg
Armenia PM: Constitutional Court President will be Dismissed, Powers of CC Members will Terminate in a Few Hours
Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan on the Session of Supreme Advisory Council Under the Turkish President's Office
Wind: 6 km/h