WASHINGTON–DC – The Bush Administration’s first budget recently forwarded to Congress maintains both Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and confidence-building measures to facilitate a resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
The Bush Administration’s proposed aid for Armenia is down slightly from that of the last Clinton Administration–as is its allocation for the newly independent states (NIS). It is asking $70 million in assistance for Armenia out of an overall amount of $808 million for the NIS. It requests $50 million for Azerbaijan.
The proposal is only the first step in what is a complex process–involving the key committees of Congress. In past years–the Senate and the House of Representatives have consistently agreed to raise the administration’s budget allocation for Armenia.
Assistance to Azerbaijan is allocated in accordance with the provisions of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act–which restricts US aid to the government of Azerbaijan but permits democracy building–human rights–trade development–humanitarian and other assistance.
In 1992–the Deputy to the Coordinator for US Assistance to the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union–Richard L. Armitage–now Deputy Secretary of State–testified on behalf of the Administration in support of Section 907–which restricts assistance to Azerbaijan until the blockade and other uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh are ceased.