US Embassy in Baku Comments on Congressional Aid to Karabakh

BAKU (Trend.az)—The US Embassy in Azerbaijan on Monday commented on an agreement by the US House and Senate last week to provide the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic with $8 million in aid, a move Baku vehemently opposes, the Azeri Trend News Agency reported.

Congress agreed on December 8 on a far-reaching Fiscal Year 2010 (FY10) spending measure that includes a $41 economic aid package for Armenia, $8 million for “programs and activities” in Nagorno Karabagh, and parity in Foreign Military Financing for Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Speaking at a press conference Monday, Embassy Spokesman Terri Davidson tried to dispel any speculation the aid would lead to a US recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh saying, “The United States does not recognize the so-called Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh government. That has been our policy and it has not changed.”

He explained the allocation of $8 million in aid to Karbakh as funds given to “the people and not the government.” He described the award as “purely humanitarian assistance” to be used for “projects such as de-mining,” which “are carried out by NGOs.”

“The United States at the same time provides assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons population in Azerbaijan,” Davidson said. “Again, we have supported large de-mining efforts in recent years, built new schools for IDP populations and attempted to improve living conditions in a range of projects.”

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