HOUSE-SENATE CONFEREES APPROVE AID LEVELS $41 MILLION FOR ARMENIA AND $8 MILLION FOR KARABAKH
ArmInfo. Finalizing its work on six different appropriations measures,
the Conferees in the House and Senate approved a Consolidated
Appropriations Bill for 2010, which provides $41 million for Armenia
and $8 million for Nagorno Karabakh, reported the Armenian Assembly
of America (Assembly).
The bill also maintained parity with respect to Foreign Military
Financing (FMF) to Armenia and Azerbaijan at $3 million each. The
Conferees did not delineate funding to either country regarding
International Military Education Training (IMET). "The Assembly
appreciates the continued support of its friends in the House and
Senate in helping secure a positive outcome," said Assembly Executive
Director Bryan Ardouny. "Given Turkey’s ongoing blockade of Armenia,
which is reinforced by Azerbaijan, U.S. assistance remains critically
important," added Ardouny. The Conferees stated that they "expect
the Department of State to continue to emphasize the use of civil
society in implementing programs and activities in Armenia." The $41
million approved reflects a $7 million drop from the Fiscal Year (FY)
2009 level, but is $11 million over the Administration’s request. On
assistance to Artsakh, the "conferees direct[ed] that up to $8,000,000
be made available for programs and activities in Nagorno-Karabakh."
This matches the level of funding allocated by Congress in FY 2009.
Earlier this year, in support of robust assistance to Armenia and
Nagorno Karabakh, Board of Trustees Member Van Krikorian testified
before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign
Operations, and Related Programs, outlining the Assembly’s priorities
with respect to funding and U.S. policy in the South Caucasus region.
With the work of the Conferees completed, the full House is expected to
vote on the Consolidated Bill as early as this friday. Once voted on by
the House and Senate, the Bill will be sent to President Barack Obama
for his signature into law. Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly
of America is the largest Washington- based nationwide organization
promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The
Assembly is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.