06.17.09

Appropriation Subcommittee Approves Aid for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Appropriation Subcommittee Approves Aid for Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Schiff announced that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations approved $48 million in foreign aid for Armenia and $10 million in foreign aid for Negorno Karabagh.  Rep. Schiff, a member of the subcommittee, worked closely with Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) to ensure this critical funding was included in the foreign aid bill.

“This is important funding that will help ensure peace and greater economic stability in the Caucasus,” said Schiff.  “Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh are important partners in a troubled and economically stagnant region, and this funding will go a long way towards strengthening these emerging democracies.”

The $48 million in economic aid matches Armenia’s total in the fiscal year 2009 bill and represents an enormous jump from the Administration’s proposal.  The subcommittee increased the President’s proposal for aid to Armenia from $30 million to $48 million, and provided $10 million in humanitarian assistance for Karabagh.  The President’s proposal had requested more funding for military assistance for Azerbaijan than for Armenia.  However, the subcommittee restored military assistance parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan at $3 million for each country.

The State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee also strengthened language governing the President's authority to waive Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, a provision that restricts aid to Azerbaijan due to its blockades and other offensive actions against Armenia and Karabagh.  The bill requires the president to consult with Congress before he can waive the Freedom of Support Act.