Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

What Else Is in the FY98 Foreign Aid Appropriations Act

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

What Else Is in the FY98 Foreign Aid Appropriations Act

Article excerpt

What Else Is in the FY98 Foreign Aid Appropriations Act

As discussed in more detail above, the bill also allows the PLO to operate in the U.S., and it allows aid to the Palestinian Authority if the president issues a "national security interest certification (see above). The bill tightens the restriction on aid to Russia unless Russia stops supporting Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and the bill urges the Ex-Im Bank to suspend all transactions with Gazprom pending review of Gazprom's deal with Iran (see p. 24). In addition, the bill still includes several "general" provisions affecting the Middle East, most of which we have discussed in previous issues. These include prohibitions on assistance to Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Sudan or Syria; a prohibition of bilateral assistance to any country supporting terrorism; a prohibition of assistance to any country violating the U.N. sanctions against Iraq (however, these three sections also provide for a "national security" or "humanitarian" waiver); and a prohibition of funds to create "in any part of Jerusalem" a U.S. government office to conduct official business with the PA.

The bill also includes the new provision from the Senate bill, described in our last issue, which would withhold 5 percent of all nonhumanitarian assistance to any country found to be violating the U. …

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