WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) offered the Armenian American community’s perspective on six key areas of U.S. foreign aid policy in testimony submitted to House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations.
ANCA Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian outlined the recommendations of the Armenian American community to the panel, which is currently deliberating the Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) foreign aid bill. Nahapetian noted the critical role the United States has played in assisting Armenia against aggression, dating back to the genocide. She also outlined the threats Armenia faces today, and stressed the need to cut all military aid to Azerbaijan, because of its recent attacks against Nagorno Karabagh and increasing indications it plans to renew its aggression against Armenians. In the worst cease-fire violation in over a decade, Azerbaijan attacked Karabagh in early March, claiming the lives of at least eight people.
“Clearly, Azerbaijan should not receive U.S. military aid as long as it threatens to use, or in fact actually employs, its large and growing arsenal in offensive actions against Armenians,” explained Nahapetian. “Sending military aid to Azerbaijan in the face of these threats only emboldens Baku to continue its belligerence, while, at the same time, threatening stability, and undermining the U.S. role as an impartial mediator,” continued Nahapetian.
The six key issues Nahapetian addressed in detail in her testimony were:
1) Zeroing out of military aid to Azerbaijan:
2) $70 Million in Economic Support Funds for Armenia
3) $10 million in direct development aid to Nagorno Karabagh
4) Removing barriers to U.S. relations with Nagorno Karabagh
5) $5 million in military assistance to Armenia
6) Maintaining Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act