Senate Appropriations Committee Prioritizes Aid to Karabakh

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Senate Measure Remains Silent on Specific Funding Levels for Caucasus Countries

WASHINGTON—The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday adopted a Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) foreign aid bill that prioritizes continued U.S. assistance for Nagorno Karabakh, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

In a legislative report, which accompanies and explains the foreign aid bill, the Committee “recommends assistance for victims of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in amounts consistent with prior years and for ongoing needs related to the conflict. The Committee urges a peaceful resolution of the conflict.” Similar to a parallel measure moving through the U.S. House, the Senate FY 2014 foreign aid bill was silent on specific funding levels to Armenia or any of the other Caucasus countries.

“We want to thank Senator Mark Kirk and his colleagues on the State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee and the full Appropriations Committee for adopting a FY14 bill that prioritizes keeping aid levels for Nagorno Karabakh consistent with prior years,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The priority that Senate appropriators – including Barbara Mikulski and Patrick Leahy – attach to America’s longstanding aid program for Nagorno Karabakh holds special meaning, particularly in light of the serious budgetary challenges facing the committee.”

“At the same time, we remain troubled that this Senate version of the foreign aid bill, like the parallel measure moving through the House, fails, for, the first time since Armenia’s independence, to cite a specific aid level for Armenia,” explained Hamparian.

On Wednesday, July 24, the House Appropriations Committee approved similar language in support of Karabakh assistance.

The Senate and House have yet to set a date for full floor consideration of their respective measures.

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