Rep. Sherman to Address Direct Aid to Karabakh

*Congressman will offer amendment during International Relations Committee hearing. WASHINGTON–Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) is set to offer an amendment before a key House panel which would provide for direct US humanitarian aid to Nagorno Karabakh–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

The amendment is to be offered during the House International Relation’s Committee’s consideration of the foreign aid authorization bill for fiscal year 1998. The Committee–chaired by Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY)–is expected to begin consideration of this legislation during the week of April 28th.

"We appreciate Congressman Sherman’s leadership on this issue and value his commitment to the people of Nagorno Karabakh," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Targeted humanitarian and developmental aid will prove to be an investment in peace in a region of great significance to the United States. This aid will serve as a vital confidence building measure for the people of Karabakh–as they seek to meet desperate humanitarian needs–while being blockaded by a hostile Azerbaijan–with the strong backing of Turkey."

In addition to the Sherman Amendment–the ANCA is also actively supporting passage by the International Relations Committee of the Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers Act–introduced by Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.). This legislation would prohibit US military assistance and arms transfers to foreign governmen’s that are undemocratic–do not adequately protect human rights–are engaged in acts of armed aggression–or are not fully participating in the UN Register of Conventional Weapons. The Code of Conduct–which would–in the view of many–apply to Turkey–was defeated in Committee last year by only one vote. Supporters–including a coalition of 101 national and 234 regional non-governmental organizations–expect the bill to win approval in Committee and move to the House floor for a vote.

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