Armenia National Assembly Member Arthur Khachatryan Raises Artsakh’s Return, Armenia’s Security, Azerbaijani Accountability in Capitol Hill Policy Discussions

Armenian National Assembly Member Arthur Khachatryan advanced Artsakh’s rights, Armenian security, and Azerbaijani accountability in a series of meetings with senior U.S. Senators and Representatives, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Khachatryan, who serves on the Armenia-USA Parliamentary Friendship Group, was joined by the ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan in his Congressional policy briefings.

In meetings with Senators John Fetterman (D-PA), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), and Gary Peters (D-MI), Khachatryan noted that without clear sanctions against Azerbaijan for the genocide committed against Artsakh’s 150,000 indigenous Armenians, the Aliyev regime will continue escalating its aggression. Azerbaijani troops currently occupy sovereign Armenian territory in the provinces of Syunik, Vayots Dzor, and Gegharkunik. Aliyev is challenging the internationally recognized borders of Armenia, is threatening to force a corridor through Syunik to secure a land connection with Turkey, and is pressuring Armenia to make changes to its constitution.

Khachatryan underscored to Congressional leaders the value of expanding U.S. assistance for Artsakh Armenians who have sought safe-haven in Armenia, and working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairs and other international partners to encourage ongoing talks with the Artsakh Government regarding the security guarantees needed to support the safe return of the Armenian population to their homes in Artsakh.  Khachatryan urged a strong U.S. response to Azerbaijan’s ongoing illegal imprisonment of Armenian POWs from the 2020 Azerbaijan and Turkey-led attack against Artsakh and Armenia, and also the Artsakh leaders arrested following the September 2023 Azerbaijani attack.

Khachatryan praised Senator Peters for his leadership in securing the unanimous Senate passage of the “Armenian Protection Act of 2023” (S.3000), which aims to block all U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan by removing President Biden’s authority to waive Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025.  The ANCA is working to secure passage of a similar measure in the U.S. House.

“We value the vital work of patriots from our Armenian homeland like Arthur Khachatryan who engage so constructively with U.S. policymakers – representing the shared national and democratic aspirations of Armenians across our homeland and throughout our global diaspora,” said ANCA National Board Member Dzovinar Hamakordzian. “Dr. Khachatryan’s visit was especially timely in light of the urgency of advancing Artsakh’s right to return, in security, under an international mandate.”

Prior to his Capitol Hill consultations, Khachatryan was in California, where he joined with ANCA National Board Member Aida Dimejian and ANCA California leaders in a program at the State Capitol saluting the California legislature’s passage of ACR 105, spearheaded by California State Assemblymember Chris Holden, which established a sister-state relationship between the Golden State and Armenia’s Syunik region.  The program also placed special focus on the passage AJR 1, which condemned Azerbaijan’s blockade and aggression against Artsakh, and expressed its support for Artsakh independence.

Khachatryan shared an overview of his California and U.S. Capitol meetings in an interview with Voice of America Armenian division, available here:

Khachatryan was elected to the Armenian National Assembly in 2021 as part of the “Armenia” faction and serves on the Standing Committee on Financial-Credit and Budgetary Affairs.  He has MBA’s from Imperial College London and the American University of Armenia, as well as a Ph.D. in Physics.  He has previously served as the Governor of Armenia’s Shirak Province and Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia. He has been a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation since 1991.