May 9, 2002

WASHINGTON, DC – A bipartisan group of 60 legislators have joined Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD) in co-signing a letter calling for “at least $90 million” in U.S. assistance to Armenia, continued military aid for Armenia, as well as additional funds for projects in Nagorno Karabagh, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We would like to thank Representatives Pallone and Morella for taking a leadership role in calling for $90 million in U.S. assistance to Armenia and continued aid for the people of Nagorno Karabagh,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We thank our friends on this important panel – especially Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Joe Knollenberg and Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Steve Rothman, Nita Lowey and John Sununu – for helping their colleagues understand the pivotal role the United States plays in helping Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh overcome the devastating impact of the dual Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades.”

The May 9th Congressional letter, addressed to House Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), notes the devastating effects of the blockades and the continued need for U.S. assistance, noting that “as long as Armenia suffers from blockades on its east and west borders, continued and robust U.S. assistance to Armenia is necessary to help minimize their impact. Therefore, we believe that, at a minimum, Armenia should receive the same level of funding in FY 2003 as it did in FY 2002 – not less than $90 million.” The letter also addresses the concern of its signatories regarding the delay in the distribution of the $20 million allocated by Congress in 1998 for Nagorno Karabagh. The co-signers urge the Administration to disburse these funds in a timely manner and recommend that the Congress allocate additional FY 2003 resources for the Nagorno Karabagh aid program.

Referring to the waiver of Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan, the Congressional co-signers contend that, “while such flexibility was granted, we urge this Subcommittee to carefully review all such assistance to Azerbaijan as a result of the waiver to ensure that any such assistance is not used against the people of Armenia or Nagorno Karabagh.” The letter also urges Congressional support for efforts to promote a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict.

The full list of co-signers include: Representatives Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY), Robert E. Andrews (D-NJ), Joe Baca (D-CA), Thomas M. Barrett (D-WI), Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Rod R. Blagojevich (D-IL), David E. Bonior (D-MI), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Michael E. Capuano (D-CA), Jerry F. Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Calvin M. Dooley (D-CA), David Dreier (R-CA), Phil English (R-PA), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Mike Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY), Joseph M. Hoeffel (D-PA), Rush D. Holt (D-NJ), Michael M. Honda (D-CA), Stephen Horn (R-CA), Sue W. Kelly (R-NY), Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), Mark Steven Kirk (R-IL), Gerald D. Kleczka (D-WI), James R. Langevin (D-RI), Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH), Sander M. Levin (D-MI), Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Robert T. Matsui (D-CA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Michael R. McNulty (D-NY), Constance A. Morella (R-MD), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), George Radanovich (R-CA), Lynn N. Rivers (D-MI), Marge Roukema (R-NJ), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Hilda L. Solis (D-CA), Mark E. Souder (R-IN), Ellen O. Tauscher (D-CA), John F. Tierney (D-MA), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Diane E. Watson (D-CA), Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Anthony D. Weiner (D-NY), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA).


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
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