WASHINGTON–The Azerbaijani government responded Monday to the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) reports of an emerging United States foreign aid policy double standard toward the countries of the Caucasus countries by circulating a press release bitterly attacking the ANCA and spreading misinformation about aid levels to the region.
According to a news release placed on the PRNewswire earlier today, the Azerbaijani Embassy set its sights on the ANCA’s recent criticism of the Obama Administration’s proposed reduction in U.S. assistance to Armenia in the face of proposed increases for Azerbaijan and Georgia, accusing the Armenian American grassroots group of misrepresenting aid figures to the states of the Caucasus.
“Either Azerbaijani Ambassador Yashar Aliyev is out spreading falsehoods around Capitol Hill or he really needs to brush up on his fourth grade math skills,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “These publicly available figures are really rather simple and should be easy enough for even a schoolchild to easily grasp: a proposed 38% reduction in U.S. assistance to Armenia in the face of a 20% increase to Azerbaijan, despite that country’s ongoing blockades of Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh and President Aliyev’s continued threats of renewed war.”
The Azerbaijani Ambassador’s response was to an ANCA Memo to Capitol Hill, titled “Double Standards: U.S. Aid Policy in the Caucasus,” released on June 11th, the day after the Millennium Challenge Corporation effectively suspended a full third of its $235 million grant to Armenia due to concerns over democratic governance. The ANCA memo compared the harsh U.S. response to Yerevan’s actions, both rhetorically and in terms of aid levels, to the increased financial support that both Azerbaijan and Georgia are set to receive despite their serious shortcomings in the areas of democracy, corruption, and governance.
The Obama Administration proposed assistance figures to the Caucasus were released by the U.S. Department of State in a document titled: Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request: Summary and Highlights, International Affairs Function 150. A table, drawn from this report, highlighting the FY09 aid figures and the Obama Administration proposal for FY10 is provided below.
|Country||FY 2009 Total||FY 2010 Request||% Difference|
|Armenia||$48 million||$30 million||– 38%|
|Azerbaijan||$18.5 million||$22.12 million||+ 20%|
|Georgia||$52 million*||$62.050 million||+ 19%|
* Georgia’s FY2009 figure does not include the $242.5 million pending Supplemental allocation.
- Read the complete “Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Request: Summary and Highlights, International Affairs Function 150”