NORA Comments McConnell for Proposing Aid Increase to Armenia

*McConnell’s bill increases aid to Armenia by 25 percent over Clinton/Gore proposal

WASHINGTON–Senate Republicans–led by Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)–soundly rejected a Clinton/Gore attempt last week to slash assistance to Armenia–approving a fiscal year 2000 aid package for Armenia that is 25% higher than the proposal put forward by the White House–reported the National Organization of Republican Armenia’s.

"We look forward to the opportunity this weekend to personally thank Senator McConnell when he joins with the Armenian community of Los Angeles at reception in his honor organized by his long-time friend Albert Boyadjian," said Ara Bedrosian–NORA Board Member. Bedrosian serves with Senator McConnell on the Senatorial Inner Circle of the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

The Senate Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee–which McConnell chairs–last week–approved a fiscal year 2000 foreign aid bill which includes a $90 million earmark for Armenia. This assistance will help offset the devastation caused by Turkish-Azeri blockades–and to assist the Armenian people in completing their economic and political transition. The bill also maintains Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act–which restricts US aid to the Azeri government until it lifts its illegal blockades of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

The $90 million approved by McConnell’s panel represents a $10.2 million increase over the $79.8 million in the fiscal year 1999 bill and close to $20 million more than the $71.5 million proposed by the Clinton/Gore White House.

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