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U.S. expert: Azerbaijan should demand U.S. Congress aid to be spent also on Azerbaijani victims on Karabakh conflict

17 December 2009 [14:09] - TODAY.AZ
“The fact that the House-Senate compromise on aid to Armenia that included $8 million for Nagorno-Karabakh is more than anything else, a demonstration of the Obama Administration’s lack of attention to and leadership on this issue”, Mark Katz, former Soviet affairs analyst at the U.S. State Department, said.

Katz believes that the Obama Administration and the Congress “could have and should have realized that any amount given to Nagorno-Karabakh would be bound to upset Azerbaijan tremendously”.

Former State Department employee mentioned that the U.S. Embassy in Baku has issued a statement saying that this money will be used for humanitarian purposes, and does not constitute U.S. recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent state.

“It would not be surprising if the Azeri government asked that this legislation be amended. But this will be difficult. But even if it is not, the Obama Administration has some leeway in how it disburses these funds, and to whom” said Katz, who is currently a politics professor at the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University.

American analyst also noted that ideally, the Azerbaijani government will not allow this issue to disrupt progress on Nagorno-Karabakh, but will ask for guarantees that the $8 million for Nagorno-Karabakh not be given to the "government" there.

“Further, since the money is to be spent for humanitarian purposes, the Azeri government should request that it be spent on both Azeri and Armenian victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, he added.


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