Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act Maintained
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The US Senate Appropriations Committee approved its Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which included specific report language regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
The Senate report language recommended “assistance for victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in amounts consistent with prior years, and for ongoing needs related to the conflict.” In addition, the Committee urged “a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”
“Continued assistance for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh remains an important priority,” Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, told the Assembly. .
The Senate action follows the House, which approved its version yesterday. For its part, the House-approved language states, “within the funds provided under this heading, the Secretary of State should provide assistance for victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict at levels consistent with prior years, and for ongoing needs related to the conflict.” The House Appropriations Bill also restated the six customary exemptions for humanitarian and other assistance to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. Section 907 was enacted in 1992 and requires the Government of Azerbaijan to take “demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force” against Armenia and Artsakh.
Overall, the Senate Bill represents a 5 percent cut whereas the House Bill represents a 19 percent reduction below the FY 2013 enacted levels.
“Given the ongoing needs in Artsakh, I was pleased that in working with the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, we were able to craft language to ensure continued funding to Karabakh,” House Appropriations Committee Member Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) told the Assembly.