WASHINGTON, DC - The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today welcomed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s public declaration of U.S. support for completing demining in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) “as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.”
Secretary Tillerson went on to reaffirm the State Department's support for Artsakh peace proposals, advanced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY) calling for the non-deployment of snipers, increased border monitors, and the placement of gunfire locator systems.
“We welcome Secretary Tillerson's support for U.S.-funded HALO Trust humanitarian mine clearance in Artsakh, and are particularly encouraged by his commitment to completing this life-saving work as quickly and as thoroughly as possible,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA
Secretary Tillerson expressed his support in response to Congressional inquiries from Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and David Cicilline (D-RI) during an appearance, in June of this year, before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee. His written responses were made public this week.
Secretary Tillerson responded to Congressional inquiries regarding the ANCA-backed Royce-Engel peace proposals for Artsakh with a strong endorsement, stressing, “the State Department supports proposals to withdraw snipers, launch an OSCE investigation mechanism, and deploy sensors along the Line of Contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan international border.” He added that the U.S. government has been
“a strong advocate in the Minsk Group process for these confidence-building measures, which we believe would reduce violence in areas affected by the conflict.”
On September 8th, the Senate Appropriations Committee, in its version of the Fiscal Year 2018 Foreign aid bill “report,” which provides detailed legislative guidance for the executive branch, included language recommending: “assistance for victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in amounts consistent with prior fiscal years, and for ongoing needs related to the conflict. The Committee urges a peaceful resolution of the conflict.”