WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America is working with Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to halt all U.S. sales and transfers of drone parts to Turkey. ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian discussed this request last week with Congressman Nunes at a meeting held on November 3, in Fresno, California.
Congressman Nunes has a long record in support of issues of special concern to Armenian Americans in California’s Central Valley and across America. His Congressional District is home to thousands of Armenian American constituents, many of whom trace their presence in and around the Fresno area to the Armenian Genocide – when their relatives were forced from their historic homeland. Specifically, his Congressional District includes parts of both Fresno and Tulare counties, and the towns Clovis, Dinuba, Sanger, and Visalia – all home to Armenian American families who belong to area churches and other Armenian institutions.
The ANCA is working to disrupt the American supply chain for parts in Turkey’s Bayraktar and other drones being used by Azerbaijan to commit war crimes against the people of Armenia and Artsakh, said the ANCA Chairman after the meeting with Congressman Nunes. America must – and I repeat must – have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to U.S. parts and technology being used by Azerbaijan and Turkey and their ISIS allies to kill Armenians. Full stop, added the ANCA Chairman.
The ANCA is proud to work with Congressman Nunes to get the U.S. Department of State to officially announce that it will reject any and all export licenses for U.S. manufactured drone parts destined for Turkey, said Hamparian.
Congressman Nunes stated, Azerbaijan’s use of deadly drone strikes in Nagorno Karabakh must cease immediately. Its offensive is being fanatically encouraged by Turkey, so the U.S. needs to make clear to Erdogan that U.S. military technology cannot be used to press this aggressive war against Armenians.
Earlier this month, the Congressman helped lead a Congressional initiative to bolster U.S. funding for the HALO Trust in order to address the thousands of munitions, including cluster bombs, that Azerbaijan, Turkey, and their ISIS allies have spread across the Republic of Artsakh.
In the past, Congressman Nunes has been outspoken on Artsakh safety and security, supporting the implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals. When the four-day Azerbaijani attack on Artsakh began in April 2016, Nunes cautioned, The clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh risk escalating into a dangerous, wider war. The ceasefire must be scrupulously observed, while Azerbaijan needs to implement widely-supported peacekeeping measures along the line of contact, including a withdrawal of snipers and an expanded role for the OSCE. In 2018, he was one of only two Republicans calling for expanded aid to Armenia and Artsakh for Fiscal Year 2019.