US house approves funding for Artsakh de-mining

10:24 • 08.09.17



The US House has adopted an amendment by Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) backing continued Congressional appropriations for the HALO Trust’s life-saving de-mining across the interior farmlands and villages of the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Republic, Asbarez reports.


The decisive move was welcomed by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), which spearheaded the launch of Artsakh aid in the 1990s and has, over the past two decades, secured tens of millions of dollars in life-saving US assistance to the independent republic.


The Valadao Amendment was approved by voice vote, as part of the FY 2018 foreign aid appropriation, which, in turn, is part of a broader spending measure (H.R. 3354), which will be voted on as early as Friday, September 8th.  Congressman David Valadao (R-CA), who serves as a Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, was joined in supporting this bipartisan measure by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA), House Intelligence Committee Ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA), and his fellow Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jackie Speier (D-CA).  Rep Valadao introduced his measure on the House floor, as part of an en bloc series of amendments, and spoke passionately in support of its adoption.


“Progress for Artsakh. The Valadao Amendment’s overwhelming adoption by the full US House of Representatives powerfully affirms, over Aliyev’s relentless opposition, America’s enduring support for Artsakh’s safety and security,” said ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian.  “We join with friends from Fresno, across America, and from as far away as Artsakh in thanking Congressman Valadao and all his colleagues for his leadership in the victory of this pro-peace, life-saving legislation.”


Immediately following his amendment’s passage, Rep. Valadao shared with the ANCA that: “It is a grave reality that families in Nagorno Karabakh live under the very real threat of landmine accidents each and every day. However, with the funding secured in my amendment today, I am optimistic significant strides will be made to ensure the region is landmine free by 2020, restoring these communities so they may live without fear of mine-related accidents.”

 





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