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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4818, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs APpropriations Act, 2005

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4818, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, EXPORT FINANCING, AND RELATED PROGRAMS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (House of Representatives - July 15, 2004)

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs, the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Kolbe), the chairman, and the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. Lowey), the ranking member for their support and leadership in ensuring funding for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. I want to particularly thank the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Knollenberg), my co-chair of the Armenia Caucus, for all that he did in the subcommittee.

Through their support, $65 million was allocated to Armenia in economic assistance, and an additional $5 million was
allocated in military assistance and $5 million was secured for assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh. I am pleased with
these levels of aid, and I would like to reiterate my steadfast support for maintaining these levels as we go to
conference.

I am particularly pleased with the fact that parity was restored in the levels of military aid given to Azerbaijan and
Armenia. When the Bush administration's budget was released, I was quite troubled that the FMF request for
Azerbaijan was four times as high as the request for Armenia. This imbalance simply could not be allowed. When the
President waived section 907 of the Freedom Support Act in the aftermath of 9/11, a commitment was made by the
Bush administration of parity in any military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan. Because Azerbaijan continues to blockade
Armenia and also has threatened Armenia militarily, it is more important than ever to maintain parity in military aid
between the two Nations.

Additionally, it is essential that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh receive the aid and assistance that they need.

I support the language directing the USAID to spend $5 million in fiscal year 2005 for programs in Nagorno-Karabakh.
This support is in our country's interests and will help alleviate the conditions of the people there.

Lastly, I would like to thank again the subcommittee for maintaining a high level of economic assistance to Armenia in
order for the country to overcome the dual blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey, which continues to impede Armenia's
economic well-being. Despite the dual blockades by Azerbaijan and Turkey, Armenia continues to implement
economic and democratic reforms, which have met with considerable success. While Armenia continues to make
important reforms, as long as Armenia suffers from blockades on its east and west borders, continued and robust U.S.
assistance is necessary to help minimize their impact.

I want to thank the subcommittee again.

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