U.S. House State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee Maintained Parity I


17.07.2008 14:47 GMT+04:00

An amendment championed by Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Joe Knollenberg
(R-MI) to cut all military aid to Azerbaijan due to their escalating
threats of war against Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia was defeated by
one vote during a meeting of the U.S. House State-Foreign Operations
Subcommittee to consider the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) foreign aid bill,
the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) told PanARMENIAN.Net.

"We want to thank Joe Knollenberg for his leadership in seeking to zero
out military aid to Azerbaijan, and to express our appreciation to
all those, like Congressmen Adam Schiff and Mark Kirk, who supported
this vital legislative effort to promote peace and stability in the
Caucasus," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "At the
same time, especially given the razor-thin margin of this vote, we are
saddened and disappointed by the opposition of Chairwoman Lowey, and
the other Representatives who, although traditionally friends of the
Armenian American community – cast their votes to block the adoption
of this badly needed measure: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Steve Israel, Ben
Chandler, Steve Rothman, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, and David Obey."

Last month, during a hearing of the Foreign Affairs Committee,
Rep. Knollenberg cross-examined Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried
regarding the State Department failure to meaningfully challenge
Azerbaijan’s war rhetoric against neighboring Nagorno Karabakh and
Armenia. Earlier today, as he entered the foreign aid mark-up, the
Michigan legislator stated, that: "For the security of Armenia and
the region, I strongly believe that the Azeri war machine must be
stopped. This is why it is completely unbelievable and unacceptable
that there would be any U.S. funding of Azerbaijan’s military. I
will fight to strip this money from the budget to ensure Armenia’s
continued safety. The U.S. absolutely must not fund or support the
Azeri bellicose behavior."

The panel approved $52 million in assistance to Armenia, $8 for
Nagorno Karabakh and, by rejecting the Knollenberg Amendment,
effectively maintained parity in military assistance to Armenia and
Azerbaijan. According to traditional Congressional practice, the bill
next goes to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration before
reaching the House floor, although the exact legislative path for this
measure remains unclear. The full Senate Appropriations Committee is
scheduled to consider the Senate version of the foreign aid bill on
Thursday, July 17th.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS