Summary: S.1344 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (10/09/1998)

Silk Road Strategy Act of 1998 - Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should use all diplomatic means to press for an equitable, fair, and permanent resolution to the conflicts in the South Caucasus and Central Asia.

Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to authorize specified assistance, including humanitarian, economic development, border control, and democratization assistance, to the South Caucasus and Central Asia countries to: (1) promote sovereignty and independence with democratic government and respect for human rights; (2) promote tolerance and understanding and counter racism and anti-semitism; (3) assist in the resolution of regional conflicts and facilitate the removal of impediments to cross-border commerce; (4) promote economic cooperation and market-oriented principles; (5) assist in the development of infrastructure necessary for communications, transportation, education, health, and energy and trade on an East-West axis in order to build strong relations and commerce between those countries and the democratic, market-oriented countries of the Euro-Atlantic community; and (5) support U.S. business interests and investments in the region.

Prohibits assistance to such countries if the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that they: (1) are engaged in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights; (2) have knowingly transferred controlled missiles or missile technology to another country, or any equipment or technology that would contribute to the ability of such country to manufacture weapons of mass destruction (including nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons); (3) have repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism; or (4) are prohibited from receiving such assistance by specified Acts.

Permits such otherwise prohibited assistance if the President determines that it: (1) is important to the U.S. national interest; (2) will foster respect for human rights; (3) will alleviate suffering from a natural or man-made disaster; or (4) is provided under the secondary school exchange program administered by the U.S. Information Agency.