Rep Speier Leads Bipartisan Call for Democracy Aid to Armenia
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14) and a bipartisan group of twenty-four Members of the House of Representatives wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and USAID Administrator Mark Green to urge support Armenia’s renewed efforts to build democratic institutions and processes.
The request follows the April resignation of longtime Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan in the wake of mass protests, and the subsequent acceptance of the prime ministership by reformist leader Nikol Pashinyan. The signers included many representatives belonging to the Caucus on Armenian Issues, as well as leaders on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“The peaceful and lawful actions of Armenia’s citizens have created an incredible opportunity to build democracy in Armenia and advance the rights of all Armenians,” said Rep. Speier. “The United States must lend our expertise and resources to assist them in their effort. Helping Armenians can remind our allies and adversaries that democracy will always be on the march.”
In the letter, the representatives called on Secretary Pompeo and Administrator Green to provide Armenia with various forms of democracy assistance. It also called for economic support to help build democratic practices in Armenia and improve the economy by addressing corruption. Specifically, the letter called for:
- Increasing funds available for democracy assistance to Armenia through the Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator to Europe and Eurasia.
- Tripling funding for democracy assistance and civil society available to the National Endowment for Democracy and its grantees.
- Assisting Armenian efforts to fight corruption, promote transparency, and improve the economy through rule of law programs, economic support, and a new Millennium Challenge compact.
A copy of the letter can be found here.