Sending Office: Honorable Jackie Speier
Sent By:
Mitchel.Hochberg@mail.house.gov

Co-signers: Reps. Capuano, Pallone, Meeks, Khanna, Eshoo, McGovern, Schiff, Cicilline, Tsongas, Napolitano, Costa, Lofgren

Outside Support: Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian National Committee of America, Open Society

Deadline: COB Wednesday

 

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in a letter encouraging Secretary of State Pompeo and USAID Administrator Green to assist Armenia at this critical inflection point in the country’s democratic trajectory.

As you know, the mass protest-driven April 23 resignation of Armenia’s longtime leader Serzh Sargsyan and subsequent appointment of opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as Prime Minister has created an unanticipated chance to encourage the development of accountable
democratic governance. This unique opportunity comes with substantial domestic and international challenges.

The State Department and USAID can help Armenia capitalize on this moment and mitigate risks. The U.S. should provide democracy assistance and bolster programs that fight corruption and fuel Armenia’s economy. Please join this letter encouraging the Administration
to help build a democratic Armenia.

The deadline for signing is COB Wednesday, please email
mitchel.hochberg@mail.house.gov
if you’d like to sign on.

Sincerely,

Jackie Speier

Member of Congress

Co-Chair, Armenia Issues Caucus

 


June 13, 2018

The Honorable Mike Pompeo                                    

Secretary of State

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street, NW

Washington, DC 20520                                 

 

Ambassador Mark Green

Administrator

U.S. Agency for International Development

1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20004

                              

Dear Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Green:

 

We are writing to encourage you to capitalize on and further promote positive political developments in Armenia. As you know, Armenia’s longtime leader Serzh Sargsyan resigned April 23, following mass protests led by Nikol Pashinyan. Due to immense popular
pressure, Armenia’s ruling Republican Party subsequently allowed Mr. Pashinyan to become Prime Minister on May 8. Though Pashinyan has been able to build a cabinet and has won parliamentary approval for his government’s program, many analysts expect snap elections
within a year.

 

We are greatly heartened that a huge number of Armenians joined protests, made demands upon their government, and peacefully and constitutionally carried the day. Prime Minister Pashinyan has a unique opportunity to work with government and civil society
to reshape Armenian politics, governance, economics, and the very nature of Armenian statehood.

 

This opportunity does not come without substantial risks. We can mitigate these by helping to strengthen Armenia’s political and civic institutions, assisting them as they engage citizens, build consensus, forge alliances, and advocate for their public policy
priorities. Our help is particularly vital during this transition period, as the people and government work through their new Constitutional system, strive to overcome the economic legacy of corruption, and place their nation on a durable path toward sustainable
democratic development.

 

As supporters of Armenia, we believe it is incumbent that the United States federal government utilize its myriad diplomatic and developmental assets to help Armenia on its path to greater democracy, transparency, and prosperity. The United States can pivotally
affect Armenia’s future by anchoring it in the democratic community of nations. We call upon the Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to aid Armenia as it reforms its political processes, fights corruption, and
improves its economy.

 

Specifically, we respectfully ask that you consider:

  1. Increasing funds available for democracy assistance to Armenia through the Department of State’s Office of the Coordinator to Europe and Eurasia. With elections on the horizon, supporting the transition process now underway is key to continuing
    Armenia’s positive momentum. Funding could be utilized by organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its grantees, which are uniquely positioned to promote political party development and electoral processes, while maintaining support
    for civil society groups that promote an independent media and human rights. NED currently only allocates $1.3 million a year to Armenia. Tripling that funding would be relatively cheap and have a disproportionate impact.
  2. Assisting Armenian efforts to fight corruption, promote transparency, and improve the economy.
    Armenians took to the street in large part to protest rampant corruption and a stalled economy. Addressing these concerns will be a crucial enabler of further democratic progress and economic growth via foreign investment. The State Department and
    USAID have ample discretionary funds available to support rule of law programs, increase economic support, and fund relevant grantees through NED and other venues. These funds will ensure civil society can participate in building accountable and democratic
    institutions. We are particularly interested in promoting Armenia’s tech sector and wine industry by facilitating a new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math Millennium Challenge compact, providing technical assistance, and encouraging partnerships
    with U.S. companies and institutions. New sanctions on Iran could also disproportionately harm Armenia’s economy and we ask that you exercise discretion in applying them.

 

We have a special opportunity to encourage and enable further positive change in Armenia. The steps above will allow us to build on positive momentum and help Armenia navigate likely challenges in the months and years ahead. We look forward to continuing
to work with you on these important domestic Armenian matters, as well as issues related to Armenia’s security and the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) peace process.

 

Sincerely,

Jackie Speier

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence

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