ArmInfo. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) in consultations with representatives of the White House, the State Department and members of the Congress discussed the issues of expanding foreign aid, recognizing the Armenian Genocide, as well as measures to control Azerbaijan's aggression.
According to the ANCA, special attention was paid to the priorities of the Committee in the draft law on foreign aid for the 2018 financial year: the prospects for increasing assistance to Artsakh to ensure mine clearance and medical services, the preservation of US economic assistance in Armenia, and the expansion of US support for Armenia as a security zone for Middle Eastern Refugees.
At the same time, the ANCA delegation, headed by the chairman of the committee Raffi Ambaryan, insisted on such key provisions as an agreement on avoidance of double taxation and direct commercial and cargo flights between Los Angeles and Yerevan.
An incident was also mentioned with the attack of security guards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on peaceful protestors on May 16 in Washington. It was noted the need for a fundamental reassessment of US-Turkey relations, taking into account also its policy in connection with the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
To note, on May 24, the US Presidential Administration Donald Trump unveiled its budget recommendations for the fiscal year 2018 (FY18) before the Congress. The proposed budget FY18, called the "New Fund of American Grandeur", recommended reducing the assistance provided in general by 29%, and by 60% - to the countries of Europe and Eurasia. According to the budget of the administration, the assistance to Armenia in FY18 will be reduced by 67%, decreasing from $ 20.4 million in the previous financial year to $ 6.8 million. For Georgia and Ukraine, it is planned to reduce financial assistance by 58% and 70%, respectively. Assistance to Azerbaijan - by 90%, and in total, the country is expected to allocate 1 million USD. To recall, the Appropriations Committee of the US Senate in 2017 provided Armenia with financial assistance of $ 24.1 million and Azerbaijan - $ 10.9 million. The Senate also recommended granting $ 1 million as military assistance and $ 600,000 for military Training. In general, the allocated assistance to Armenia was $ 3 million more than the US President Barack Obama requested from the budget. The amount of aid to Artsakh, provided since 1998, remained unchanged.
To recall, on May 16 this year at the Turkish Embassy in Washington there was a fight between supporters and opponents of the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to eyewitnesses, Erdogan's supporters attacked participants in a peaceful demonstration protesting against Erdogan's visit to the United States. After the incident, the US House of Representatives approved House Resolution 354, which regrets the violent actions of Turkish security forces Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan against peaceful demonstrators opposite the Turkish Embassy in Washington. Congressmen emphasize that all those Turkish officials who participated in the excesses in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington on May 16 of this year should be punished according to the laws of the United States. The authors of the resolution also express concern over the growing authoritarianism in Turkey and urge Washington to take measures to promote the protection of freedom of expression and civil society in that country. The decision of the House of Representatives enraged Ankara.