America should fund real allies — not occupied, unrecognized territories like Nagorno-Karabakh, says an article by Jacob Kamaras, an editor for the Jewish News Service, published by the Washington Times.
“When it comes to American foreign aid, it is often the message — rather than the dollar figure — that matters,” says the article titled “Losing the moral compass over Nagorno-Karabakh”.
"A textbook case is Nagorno-Karabakh, the internationally recognized Azerbaijani territory, illegally occupied by Armenia," adds the author.
"Armenia suffered a severe blow in May when President Trump's proposed budget for fiscal 2018 cut assistance to Armenia by nearly 70 percent, from $22.4 million to $6.8 million. Yet, concurrently, the proposed budget slashed aid to Azerbaijan by 90 percent, down to $1 million. Sweeping foreign aid cuts are a hallmark of the Trump administration,” says the article.
Summarizing the facts about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Kamaras lists the reasons why the US should reconsider its decision.
"America funds an occupied, unrecognized territory," says the author. "The Armenian occupation violates UN Security Council Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884, as well as UN General Assembly Resolutions 19/13 and 57/298, which all describe Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory."
The State Department states that the US “does not recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent country, and its leadership is not recognized internationally or by the United States. The United States supports the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and holds that the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh is a matter of negotiation between the parties,” the author mentions.
However, true support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan should entail firm opposition of the Armenian occupation — in the form of defunding the illegal regime in Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azerbaijani territory occupied by Armenia, adds Kamaras.
Thirdly, “America supports its lawmakers going rogue. Nagorno-Karabakh receives more than financial backing from the US. It also benefits from important symbolic gestures by American lawmakers — such as the recent, unacceptable visit by Reps. Valadao, Frank Pallone, New Jersey Democrat, and Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat. By making a diplomatic trip to Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territory, these legislators are saying that Azerbaijan’s sovereignty means nothing, not to mention violating stated US foreign policy,” reads the article.
“Armenia is Russia’s vassal — its secret ingredient to expanding global power, at the expense of American power. Defunding Nagorno-Karabakh might not make a substantial difference in the total price tag of US foreign aid. But the message would have significant reverberations for this country’s standing in the world — that when it comes to American spending, practicality and morality still matter,” noted Kamaras.