US President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary of State, Antony Blinken – in written responses submitted following his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – expressed support for US funding to meet the security needs of Armenia and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in and around Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
Secretary of State-Designate Antony Blinken testifies in support of renewed US leadership to strengthen Armenia’s security and resilience
STEPANAKERT, JANUARY 22, ARTSAKHPRESS: “We welcome Secretary-designate Blinken’s commitment to renewed US leadership that supports the security needs of Armenia and the protection of Artsakh” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “In the wake of months of reckless US indifference to Azerbaijan’s relentless aggression, we look forward to constructive, responsible engagement by the Biden-Harris Administration on the full range of issues of special concern to Americans of Armenian heritage and our many coalition partners.”
In four detailed responses to Questions for the Record submitted by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Blinken voiced support for “the provision to Armenia of security assistance and aid to strengthen democratic governance and promote economic growth, both of which will help to strengthen Armenia’s security and resilience.” He added that: “In light of the recent outbreak of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, our administration will review our security assistance to Azerbaijan”, noting that, “if the circumstances warrant, the Biden-Harris administration will be prepared to suspend waivers of requirements under section 907 of the Freedom Support Act.” In three of his responses, he underscored his commitment to “working with Congress and the Secretary of Defense to determine the appropriate level of assistance to meet the security needs of Armenia and the region.”
In response to a question by Chairman Menendez regarding U.S. reengagement in the OSCE Minsk Group process in a way that advances “a sustainable peace that reflects the interests of Armenians, not just Aliyev, Erdogan, and Putin,” Blinken stated that he will “reinvigorate U.S. engagement to find a permanent settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that protects the security of Nagorno-Karabakh and helps to ensure another war does not break out. This includes stepping up our engagement via the Minsk Group, of which the United States is a co-chair, and additional diplomatic work to prevent any further interference by third parties.”