Senate Appropriations Committee Supports Continued Assistance For Nagorno Karabagh


WASHINGTON — This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its ver- sion of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill out- lining US funding and policy priorities abroad, including Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, reported the Armenian Assembly of America.

The Appropriations Committee recom- mended “assistance for victims of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict in amounts consistent with prior years and for ongoing needs related to the conflict.” In addition,

the Committee urged “a peaceful resolution to the conflict” and the bill itself made funds available for “confidence-building mea- sures and other activities in furtherance of the peaceful resolution of conflicts,

including in Nagorno Karabagh.” “The Senate Appropriations Committee’s inclusion of assistance to Nagorno Karabagh advances important US foreign policy and humanitarian priorities in the region and will provide for those most affected by this conflict,” said a spokesperson for Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL). Sources familiar with the bill noted that

funding for Armenia in terms of economic and military assistance mirrors the President’s request, which included the fol- lowing: $27.22 million in Economic Support Funds, $2.5 million in Global Health Programs and $2.82 million in International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement. The administration’s request also called for $2.7 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Armenia and allocates $600,000 each in International Military Education Training (IMET).

The bill also restated the six customary exemptions for humanitarian and other assistance to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. Section 907 was enacted in 1992 and requires the government of Azerbaijan to take “demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force” against Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman of the State, Foreign Operations Appropria- tions Subcommittee noted that while overall funding in this “bipartisan bill” is “$2.6 bil- lion below the president’s budget request and $1.2 billow below the Fiscal Year 2012 level,” at the same time it still “addresses the priorities of Senators of both parties.”

Further action on this bill and its counterpart in the House of Representatives has not been scheduled.