Diaspora: Any assistance provided by the US to the victims of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be made available to displaced Azerbaijani victims as well

Diaspora: Any assistance provided by the US to the victims of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be made available to displaced Azerbaijani victims as well
# 19 July 2011 12:57 (UTC +04:00)
Washington. Isabel Levine – APA. On July 20, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a mark-up hearing on the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. This legislation authorizes funding levels for the US State Department related programs, Peace Corps, and security assistance. It also provides policy guidelines and justifications for the funding recommendations.

The US Azerbaijanis and Turkic-Americans have started an action campaign urging their representatives to ensure that any assistance provided to the victims of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is made available to displaced Azerbaijani victims as well, reflects the demonstrated programmatic capacity and level of assistance to Armenia is reconsidered based on our national foreign policy priorities and not the agenda of ethnocentric special interest groups, APA’s Washington DC correspondent reports.

“Since 1992, the US Congress has been allocating funds to address humanitarian needs of the victims of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In 2005, under pressure from the Armenian-American interest groups, the wording of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bills was revised to provide US funds only to the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh. Meanwhile, over 600,000 Azerbaijanis expelled from the region in the course of the conflict remained deprived of any US assistance”, remind the Diaspora’s letters to the Congress members.

According to the authors, in the last six years, the allocation of funds to the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh was increased without any basis from $3 million to $8 million.

In regards to the US aid to Armenia, this country’s expansionist policy has been a main impediment to the development and peace in the South Caucasus. Since 1993, in violation of several UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, Armenian forces continue to occupy the fifth of neighboring Azerbaijan, with hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis forced out of and unable to return to their homes.

“Armenia’s aggressive policy extends itself to directly challenge the US interests as well. According to the information from the US Embassy in Armenia, in 2003, under personal supervision of then Armenia’s Defense Minister (and now President), Serzh Sarsgyan, Armenian government sold 1000 RPG-22M rockets and 260 PKM machine guns to Iran. These Armenian weapons were further used by the Iranian-backed Hizballah brigades in Iraq to kill the US serviceman, Sgt. Matthew Straughter, during an RPG-22 attack on January 31, 2008. While US officials confronted Armenian government about the issue, no action was ever taken, no formal apology was issued and no reparations were made by the Armenian government to the family of killed American soldier”, say the letters, adding, at the time of a slow economic recovery, with the US national debt reaching over $14 trillion, another increase in the allocation of US aid to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian community is unsubstantiated”, say the letters.
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