WASHINGTON–DC–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) joined with Representatives Steve Rothman (D-NJ) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in raising issues of concern to Armenian Americans with Secretary of State Colin Powell during his appearance on May 10–before the US House panel responsible for US foreign assistance–reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
In his testimony in the US Capitol during a hearing of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations–Secretary Powell reviewed President Bush’s International Affairs Budget for fiscal year 2002. In the only direct mention of Armenia in his prepared remarks–the Secretary noted that the Administration’s request "sets aside funding in the regional account to support a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. These funds will enable the US to contribute to post-settlement reconstruction in Azerbaijan and Armenia as part of a coordinated international donor effort." (For the full text of the Secretary’s testimony–visit: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2001/index.cfm?docid=2808)
Following his prepared remarks–Subcommittee Chairman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and members of the panel raised specific issues with the Secretary. Long-time panel member–Rep. Joe Knollenberg praised the Secretary’s personal participation in the recent Nagorno Karabakh negotiations in Key West–Florida and explored the current status of the peace talks.
Steve Rothman (D-NJ) stressed to the Secretary that Turkey’s standing as a US ally should not prevent the State Department from addressing its shortcomings on issues such as Nagorno Karabakh and the military occupation of Cyprus. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)–who also serves as the Ranking Member on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence–noted to the Secretary that she joined with the views of her colleagues–Congressmen Rothman and Knollenberg–on the issues they raised concerning Armenia.
In the coming weeks–the Senate and House Foreign Operations Subcommittees will set aid levels and shape assistance policy for the New Independent States–the Caucasus–Armenia–and Karabakh.
The ANCA urges constituents to share their views with these and other members of Congress on foreign aid and other issues impacting Armenia and Karabakh.
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