U.S. Policy on Artsakh | Peace & Freedom

AIM

Generating U.S. support—in policy, practice, and  principle— for the Artsakh Republic’s independence and security, supporting the OSCE Minsk Group platform, challenging Azerbaijani aggression by promoting accountability for attacks along the line of contact, and fostering broader, pro-peace dialogue between the U.S. and Artsakh.

ACTIONS

Spearheaded aid to Artsakh, making the U.S. the only country that has (since FY98) provided such assistance (over $45,000,000), helping Artsakh with maternal health care, clean water, and de- mining, while also representing a form of implicit U.S. recognition of Artsakh’s independence.

Supported passage of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act (opposing all attempts to eliminate or weaken this law), representing U.S. policy (although currently waived) that Azerbaijan must take “demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Stopped Matt Bryza’s nomination to serve as Ambassador to Azerbaijan due to his clear pro- Aliyev bias, earning attacks against the ANCA by name in both the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Challenged the pro-Azerbaijan Madrid Principles, which call upon Artsakh and Armenia to make up-front, irrevocable strategic/territorial concessions in return for deferred, vague, and reversible promises from Azerbaijan.

Helped block, using political, policy, and legal avenues, a potential Israeli sale of Iron Dome to Azerbaijan.

Secured bipartisan Congressional and OSCE Minsk Group support for the Royce-Engel peace proposals, spearheaded by the leadership of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, calling for the removal of snipers, deployment of additional monitors, and placement of gunfire-locators.

Worked with Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone to expand bilateral dialogue and visits through the U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communication Resolution.

Reframed the Artsakh issue away from the reckless “land now” for “status later” dynamic, toward peace (via the Royce- Engel proposals) and dialogue (via the U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communication Resolution).

Worked to secure state-level recognition of the Artsakh Republic by California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, and Rhode Island.

Supported the historic March 2018 Artsakh Presidential delegation visit to Washington, DC.

OBJECTIVES

Promoting regional peace, via Royce-Engel proposals (gunfire locators).

Promoting dialogue, via Travel and Communication Resolution and Artsakh’s return to talks.

Supporting Congressional and other official U.S./ international travel to Artsakh.

Expanding state recognition of Artsakh (beyond CA, GA, HI, LA, MA ME, MI, RI).

Seeking progressive recognition, via aid, sister cities, state actions, and visits.

Opposing potential Iron Dome sale to Azerbaijan (3rd-party transfer/arms export laws).

Supporting H.Res.537 and other Azerbaijan sanctions (corruption, crackdowns, regional aggression).

Tracking Azerbaijan ambassadorial nomination (scrutinize new nominee).

Opposing Azerbaijan’s candidacy for WTO membership (blockade/ aggression).

U.S. Policy on Genocide | Truth & Justice

AIM

Breaking with U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, clearing the way for active American leadership— including direct, sustained U.S. pressure on Turkey— toward a truthful, just, and comprehensive resolution of this crime.

ACTIONS

Worked with U.S. states (48), media, academia, the entertainment industry, and others to isolate the Executive Branch as an outlier, alone in its complicity with Ankara’s Armenian Genocide denial, re-framing this issue from the Turkish government’s narrative of historical “debate” to a question of how long U.S. leaders will continue caving in to Erdogan and enforcing Ankara’s gag-rule.

Stopped Dick Hoagland’s nomination as Ambassador to Armenia over his denial of the Armenian Genocide, a high-profile action that sent powerful signals across Washington, DC.

Hosted annual Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide remembrances, which have, over the past several decades, featured speeches by hundreds of U.S. Senators and Representatives, and have collectively secured the signatures of hundreds of legislators on bipartisan Congressional letters to the White House.

Advanced Congressional legislation to properly mark the Armenian Genocide and to ensure that its lessons are leveraged to prevent new crimes against humanity. (H.Res.220, in the U.S. House, currently has over 115 cosponsors; House resolutions were adopted in 1975 and 1984; amendments passed in 1996 (Radanovich Amendment) and 2004 (Schiff Amendment).

Introduced—via legislation and educational engagement—the teaching of the Armenian Genocide to American public schools in California, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, and Illinois.

Secured passage of “Return of Churches” legislation, calling on the Turkish Government to return confiscated Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian religious properties, stolen during the Genocide and more than a century of ongoing repression against its Christian communities.

Countered reckless U.S. government support for the deeply flawed Turkish-Armenian Protocols, generating Congressional opposition to these one-sided, pro-Turkish accords.

Partnered with In Defense of Christians, the leading national organization protecting and promoting the rights of Middle East Christians, on a range of issues, including ending Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.

OBJECTIVES

Calling for an honest April 24th Armenian Genocide statement by the White House.

Seeking passage of Armenian Genocide resolutions: H.Res.220 and S.Res.136.

Securing recognition by two remaining U.S. states: Alabama and Mississippi.

U.S.-Armenia Ties | Partnership & Progress

AIM

Promoting a healthy, forward- leaning, mutually-beneficial U.S.-Armenia political, economic, security, and military partnership that strengthens Armenia and provides its citizens and civic leaders with viable strategic options in dealing with regional pressures and domestic development challenges.

ACTION

Spearheaded the 2015 signing of the U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Agreement, creating a sustained bilateral platform to address and overcome obstacles to the growth of U.S.-Armenia trade and investment.

Generated Congressional, corporate, and community support for and Department of Treasury interest in a long-overdue and badly needed U.S.-Armenia Double Tax Treaty, which will break down barriers to U.S. investment by eliminating the threat of double taxation.

Supported the creation of the U.S.-Armenia Economic Task Force (1999), helped enable Armenia’s WTO membership (2003), played a vital role in securing, via Congressional legislation, Permanent Normal Trade Relations Status for Armenia (2005), and backed Armenia’s Millennium Challenge compact (2006) for rural roads and irrigation.

Countered anti-Armenian U.S. officials, foreign lobbyists, and non-governmental organizations that have unfairly and without foundation sought to have U.S. sanctions imposed upon Armenia.

Highlighted Armenia’s participation in U.S./NATO-led peacekeeping operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kosovo, and Mali.

Supported the March 2018 Armenia Parliamentary delegation visit to Washington, DC, and consistently promoted bilateral inter-parliamentary travel, dialogue, and cooperation.

OBJECTIVES

Promoting high-level executive/ legislative dialogue aligned with key deliverables.

Upgrading bilateral defense relations (peace-keeping and capacity-building).

Negotiating a Double Tax Treaty (clarity, info sharing, transparency).

Maximizing effectiveness of TIFA Council and Economic Task Force meetings.

Securing an MCC STEAM education grant (pending Armenia meeting criteria).

Promoting non-stop Los Angeles- Yerevan commercial and cargo flights.

Hosting the Capitol Hill Celebration of 100 Years of U.S.-Armenia relations.

Supporting Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Armenia exhibit on the National Mall.

U.S. Foreign Assistance | Aid & Trade

AIM

Securing U.S. foreign aid appropriations and policy that supports the development of U.S.- Armenia economic relations and military cooperation, that meets humanitarian needs in the Artsakh Republic, and that place common- sense restrictions on U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan and Turkey.

ACTIONS

Advocated successfully—through annual Congressional testimony, Congressional sign-on letters, and ongoing grassroots advocacy—for over $2.5 billion in U.S. aid for desperately needed humanitarian programs (earthquake relief, kerosene, food, medicine, etc.) in the early years of independence, and, in more recent years, for economic development, democracy-building programs, and infrastructure, like roads and irrigation.

Spearheaded aid to Artsakh, making the U.S. the only country in the world that has (since FY18) provided such assistance (over $45,000,000), materially helping Artsakh with maternal health care, clean water, and de-mining, while also representing a form of implicit U.S. recognition that Artsakh is independent of Azerbaijan.

Supported millions in U.S. appropriations that have allowed the HALO Trust to clear more than 90% of Artsakh of landmines and unexploded ordnance, including through the Valadao Amendment (2017) to the FY18 State-Foreign Operations bill.

OBJECTIVES

Continuing aid to Artsakh (HALO Trust de-mining & Baroness Cox Rehabilitation Center).

Cutting/suspending military aid to Azerbaijan (Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act).

Increasing aid to Armenia for trade/investment and economic development.

Expanding U.S. military aid to Armenia (peace-keeping and capacity building).

U.S.-Turkey Ties | Integrity & Accountability

AIM

Advancing U.S. interests and American values by ending the century-long pattern of reckless and irresponsible U.S. appeasement of Turkey, by holding Ankara accountable for its anti-American policies and anti-Armenian actions, including its illegal blockade of Armenia, arming of Azerbaijan, abuse of Armenians and other minorities, regional aggression (against Cyprus, Syria, Kurds, etc.) and obstruction of justice for the Armenian Genocide.

Supported adoption of the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act (1996), which placed restrictions on aid to Turkey due to its obstruction of humanitarian aid to Armenia.

ACTIONS

Live broadcast the May 2017 attack by Turkish President Erdogan’s security detail against peaceful U.S. protesters in Washington, DC, with our video being picked up by CNN, AP, the New York Times and other major media. ANCA’s viral video transformed a violent incident into a global spotlight on Ankara’s aggression.

Testified before Congress regarding the May 2017 attack, and worked with Congressional leaders to pass U.S. House legislation forcefully condemning Ankara’s actions and blocking a proposed small-arms sale to the Turkish government.

Blocked multiple U.S. arms transfers to Turkey (frigates, cluster bombs, etc.) and fought (alongside our Hellenic American allies) to both block a proposed F-35 sale to Ankara and to impose Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions upon Turkey over its anti-NATO purchase of S-400 missiles.

Supported adoption of the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act (1996), which placed restrictions on aid to Turkey due to its obstruction of humanitarian aid to Armenia.

OBJECTIVES

Blocking F-35 and other arms sales and transfers to Turkey (with our Hellenic American allies).

Demanding Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions against Turkey over S-400 purchase.

Securing U.S. extradition of Erdogan bodyguards over May 2017 attacks in DC.

Ending Turkey’s eligibility to sell products in U.S. under duty-free GSP regime.

Calling for redeployment of U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey.

Tracking Turkey ambassadorial nomination (scrutinizing new nominee).

ANCA Youth | Inspiration & Empowerment

AIM 

Empowering Armenian youth through advocacy training for Armenian American university students and civic leaders, and helping recent graduates start public policy, media, and government careers in Washington, DC.

ACTIONS

The ANCA has two signature youth initiatives, the Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship Program and the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program, that have served hundreds of young Armenian Americans from all around America—from Montana, With the support of the Aramian Family, purchased The Aramian House, a landmark eight-bedroom property in downtown Washington, DC that provides rent-free housing for our summer interns and year- round Capital Gateway Fellows.

Massachusetts, and Maine to Alabama, Kentucky, California, and Louisiana.

Trained hundreds of young Armenian American activists and community leaders via our Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship Program, many of whom occupy leadership positions in the ANCA and across the Armenian American community Via the Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program, placed hundreds of recent college graduates in full-time public policy position, including U.S. Senate and House offices, White House, Executive Branch agencies, Center for Strategic and International Studies, World Bank, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Export-Import Bank, Congressional Quarterly, Booz Allen Hamilton, Fleishman Hilliard, American Civil Liberties Union, and National Democratic Institute.

Secured a current placement rate of over 90% of Hovig Apo Saghdejian Capital Gateway Program fellows finding full-time, career track positions.

OBJECTIVES

Expanding our capacity to accommodate, support, mentor, and advise an increasing number of youth in our programs.

Broadening the network of Armenian American professionals working as senior stakeholders in U.S. foreign and domestic policy.