Pallone visits with Foreign Minister Masis Mayiliyan. Official photo

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), the founding co-chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, visited Artsakh on October 1-2 for meetings with NKR officials led by president Bako Sahakyan.

Pallone arrived in Stepanakert shortly after he and two other members of Congress sent a letter to the Trump Administration demanding “an immediate halt” in U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan citing U.S. legal restrictions. During the trip he reiterated his opposition to any military aid to Azerbaijan.

Last year, Pallone also introduced the resolution entitled Artsakh Travel and Communication Act (H.Res.190) that argued for expansion in U.S. outreach to Karabakh. The resolution gained 24 co-sponsors but not much traction overall.

A 31-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives, the New Jersey Democrat has been to Artsakh more than any other member of Congress. Pallone’s previously visited two years ago.

“I am here because I want to make it clear that Artsakh is a state, a democratic nation,” Pallone was quoted as saying by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).  “And, it is very important to have as many contacts as possible between the United States and Artsakh.”

According to ANCA, California Democrats Judy Chu and Jackie Speier are due to visit Karabakh in the coming days as well.

UPDATED: Reps. Chu and Speier visited Stepanakert on Oct. 8-9. Earlier this year, Rep. Chu proposed a legislative amendment in support of the Karabakh cease-fire. Rep. Speier in turn co-signed the letter in opposition to security assistance to Azerbaijan. Chu, Speier, as well as Pallone have also backed continued U.S. support for de-mining work in Artsakh.