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News from Armenia

Staff Report

General Andranik
Reburied in Armenia

About 20,000 Armenians turned out for the reburial of general Ozinian Andranik, a leader of the Armenian resistance to the Ottoman army in the early 1900s, whose remains were brought back Friday after resting more than 71 years in Paris’ Pere Lachaise cemetery. Armenian Primate Karekin II officiated at a service at his residence in Echmiadzin, west of the capital, in memory of the general, who died in exile in California in 1927, aged 62.

After the mass, Andranik’s body was taken in a funeral procession through Yerevan, with 20,000 people, including President Robert Kotcharian and other political leaders, participating. Andranik was reburied in the city’s Yerablour cemetery, the resting place of Armenian officers killed during the 1988-1994 Nagorny Karabakh conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan. Nagorny Karabakh is a self-proclaimed Armenian Republic on Azerbaijani territory. More than 20,000 people have died and nearly a million were displaced since the ethnic Armenian majority there rebelled in 1988.

Andranik’s tomb is adjacent to that of the late prime minister Vazguen Sarkissian, assassinated in parliament during an attempted coup d’etat on October 27, 1999. Before Armenia’s independence in 1991, the Soviet authorities had refused to let Andranik’s body be repatriated.

Armenia Aid Set at $75 million

The Administration’s proposed budget figures would decrease U.S. aid to Armenia to $75 million, down from over $102 million in fiscal year 2000. At the same time, the White House proposes increasing aid to Azerbaijan by more than 77%, from $30 million in fiscal year 2000 to $54 million in fiscal year 2001. Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which restricts U.S. aid to the government of Azerbaijan, allows for certain types of democracy, human rights, trade development and humanitarian assistance.