Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 11 / Trend U.Sadikhova /
Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister and Rector of the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy Hafiz Pashayev regarded the U.S. Congress decision to allocate $8 million to the separatist government of Nagorno-Karabakh as a negative step in the way of development of the Azerbaijan-U.S. relations.
"This step by the Congress may adversely affect the U.S.-Azerbaijan relations," he told journalists today. "But we hope this will not happen."
The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate approved a bill on the general appropriations for the 2010 fiscal year, according to which assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh will be allocated in the amount of $8 million.
Azerbaijani Former Ambassador to the U.S Pashayev considered the Congress's intervention in U.S. foreign policy as a move contrary to Washington's interests.
According to Pashayev, the Congress took such actions due to the influence of Armenian lobby operating in the United States.
The intervention of Congress in the U.S. foreign policy is evident not only in regard to Azerbaijan, but also for other countries, he said citing Middle East as another example.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994.
The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. General Assembly's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.
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