(March 14) WASHINGTON—House Foreign Affairs Committee senior member, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) urged Secretary of State John Kerry to zero-out U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan, citing the Aliyev regime’s ongoing aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We join with Armenian Americans in California and across America in thanking Congressman Sherman for raising our community’s core concerns directly with Secretary Kerry during this Congressional hearing,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “All of our issues – from ending U.S. complicity in Turkey’s genocide denial to zeroing-out American military aid to Azerbaijan – benefit from the sunshine of vigorous public scrutiny and strong Congressional oversight.”
During the March 13th House Foreign Affairs hearing, Rep. Sherman began his questioning on Armenian American concerns by reminding Secretary Kerry about his support for Armenian Genocide affirmation during his years in the Senate. “I commend you as Senator Kerry for your incredible record of fighting for recognition of the Armenian genocide and hope that as Secretary Kerry you will do likewise,” stated Rep. Sherman.
The Congressman went on to focus on the Azerbaijan’s increasing belligerence against Armenia and Karabakh, citing Pres. Aliyev’s glorification of convicted axe-murderer Ramil Safarov. “It was the Azeri soldier that murdered a sleeping Armenian soldier at a NATO exercise has been promoted and praised. And in light of that and other aggression I hope that you will review and perhaps withdraw the idea of any military assistance to Azerbaijan,” stated Rep. Sherman. “I hope that you would also warn the Azeris that it’s simply outrageous for them to threaten to shoot down civilian aircraft that try to fly into the Nagorno-Karabakh airport,” concluded Rep. Sherman.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) will be joining Rep. Sherman in submitting additional questions for the record (QFR’s) for response by Secretary Kerry on a range of Armenian American concerns including return of religious properties by Turkey and efforts to protect Christian minorities in Syria. Asbarez will report on responses from Secretary Kerry as soon as they are available.