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April 13
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US Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. called for increased US aid in building democracy and trade relations with Armenia, as well as aid to Artsakh through a bill on appropriations for fiscal year 2021, Armenian Assembly of America reported.

His remarks came at the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

In his testimony, Rep. Pallone highlighted the life-saving work of The HALO Trust’s vital landmine and unexploded ordnance clearance efforts in Artsakh, and asked for $1.5 million for de-mining and landmine risk education programs in Artsakh to protect civilian lives and continue the critical work of this program in the region.

Regarding improving democratic governance in Armenia, Pallone drew attention to the steps taken by the Armenian government to strengthen civil society and democratic institutions, saying: “The United States Congress can aid this process by ensuring we give targeted assistance during the country’s continued democratic transition.” 

He asked the Subcommittee to allocate $ 100 million to assist in the fields of economy, management, the rule of law and security of Armenia.

He also noted the inequality between US military aid to Azerbaijan and Armenia and suggested that the US suspend military aid to Azerbaijan until the latter’s government ceases attacks on Armenia and Artsakh and agrees on a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict.

According to reports, Azerbaijan has received $ 100 million directly from the US Defense Department over the past two years.

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