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Rep. Bass Joins 100 Members of Congress In Calling on Biden Administration to Strengthen U.S.-Armenian Ties, Denounce Aggressive Azerbaijani Military Exercises

February 19, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Karen Bass signed a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, urging the Biden Administration to strengthen the United States-Armenia strategic relationship.

The lawmakers urged the Biden Administration to use every diplomatic and economic tool available to hold Azerbaijan and Turkey accountable for their aggressions, provide economic assistance to support Armenia’s democracy, and assist them in caring for families displaced from Artsakh.

A copy of the letter is available here.

“The United States cannot allow Russia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan to solely dictate and dominate the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. While we have seen some reengagement in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group process, we believe more must be done to pursue an enduring settlement based on the fundamental right to self-determination,” the lawmakers wrote. “We appreciate the response Secretary Blinken gave during his confirmation hearing to this end, stating that he will ‘reinvigorate U.S. engagement to find a permanent settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that protects the security of Nagorno-Karabakh and helps to ensure another war does not break out.’

“We urge you to identify ways we can provide additional economic assistance to Armenia to support its democracy and development as well as respond to the significant number of displaced people who have fled the conflict in Artsakh. We also request that your Administration identify ways in which our economic, cultural, and other ties to Armenia can be improved to benefit Armenia and the large Armenian American diaspora in the United States,” the lawmakers concluded. “Those steps should include the formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide by President Biden on April 24, following in the footsteps of both the House and Senate who passed resolutions recognizing the fact of the Genocide during the 116th Congress.”

The letter was also signed by: Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), Brad Sherman (CA-30), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Chris Pappas (NH-01), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Juan Vargas (CA-51), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Jim Costa (CA-16), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY-03), Susie Lee (NV-03), Katherine M. Clark (MA-05), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10), Dina Titus (NV-01), Andy Levin (MI-09), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Judy Chu (CA-27), Devin Nunes (CA-22), Grace Meng (NY-06), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), James R. Langevin (RI-02), David Trone (MD-06), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Jason Crow (CO-06), Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Glenn Grothman (WI-06), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), David Schweikert (AZ-06), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Mike Garcia (CA-25), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Michelle Steel (CA-48), Tom McClintock (CA-04), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20), Peter Welch (VT-AL), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Josh Harder (CA-10), David P. Joyce (OH-14), John H. Rutherford (FL-04), Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Christopher H. Smith (NJ-04), Salud O. Carbajal (CA-24), Mike Doyle (PA-18), Jim Banks (IN-03), Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Richard E. Neal (MA-01), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), John Garamendi (CA-03), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-05), Susan Wild (PA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08), Young Kim (CA-39), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Nydia Veláquez (NY-07), Brian Mast (FL-18), Mike Levin (CA-49), and Katie Porter (CA-45).

Last Congress, Rep. Karen Bass voted in favor of House Resolution 296, which acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and rejects efforts to enlist, engage or otherwise associate the US government with denial of the genocide. This was the first time in 35 years a resolution like this was passed. The Congresswoman has also taken legislative action to push Congress to support the Republic of Artsakh at all levels of civil society and government and recognizes that the people of Artsakh have inalienable rights to self-determination.

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