Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Congress to reduce foreign aid to Armenia to $58.5 mln


Negotiators representing the U.S. House and Senate appear to have agreed upon Fiscal Year 2008 assistance figures for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, both at levels less than last year, as part of a far-reaching agreement on foreign aid and other appropriations measures that is set to be adopted soon by both houses of Congress, reported the Armenian National Committee of
America (ANCA).

The agreement includes $58.5 million in assistance to Armenia and $3 million in direct aid to Nagorno Karabakh. It also reverses the Administration’s latest bid to retreat from its 2001 pledge to maintain in military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"We are troubled by the reductions in aid to Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, particularly in light of the ongoing economic costs of the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, as well as Baku’s increasingly violent rhetoric about restarting its war against the Armenians," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We thank all of our friends in the appropriations process who, working against significant competing budgetary pressures."

In addition to the Armenia and Karabakh allocations, the omnibus aid bill also includes $50.5 million for Georgia and $19 million for Azerbaijan. Millennium Challenge Account funding is set for $1.5 billion, half of President Bush’s request.

Georgia is supposed to receive $50.5 million; Azerbaijan will be allocated $19 million.

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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