Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-12) led a bipartisan group of 54 U.S. Representatives in urging Secretary Blinken and the Biden Administration to stop all military assistance to Azerbaijan and urged a stronger U.S. response to Azerbaijan’s ongoing blockade and aggression against Artsakh’s 120,000 indigenous Armenian Christian population.
The U.S. Representatives urged the Biden Administration to cut all military assistance to Azerbaijan by enforcing Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.
“In the context of this ongoing blockade and President Aliyev’s continuing threats, extending the Presidential waiver of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act would send a dangerous message to Azerbaijan’s government – that there will be no repercussions for its attempts to impose its will on the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh by intimidation, starvation and deadly force,” wrote the lawmakers.
The Biden Administration is currently deciding whether to reauthorize of the Presidential waiver of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act. Enacted in 1992, the law establishes statutory restrictions on US assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan “until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.” Congress included a Section 907 waiver in the FY2002 Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.
The Congressional letter also expressed “dismay” at the State Department’s reticence to forcefully reject President Aliyev’s recent threats against the Artsakh’s authorities. “President Aliyev’s May 28 threat is an affront to our democratic and humanitarian values, and is even more shocking coming from a nation that receives generous U.S. military assistance,” wrote the lawmakers.
We thank Congresswoman Lee in leading a bi-partisan group of congressional members who are insisting that the US Administration do more on reopening the Lachin corridor,” stated Armenian Council of America Board Chairman Sevak Khatchadorian. “Seeing the Azerbaijani dictatorship create a humanitarian crisis in the region, with the intent of ethnic cleansing, the Administration must cease all military and security assistance to Azerbaijan, enforce section 907, and sanction Azeri regime officials responsible for human rights violations committed against Armenians in the region.”
To read the full letter, click here.
As a grassroots organization, ACA is dedicated to working with all political leaders, offering Armenian related news, analysis and resources for policymakers, media, students and activists, advocating issues important to Armenian Americans. The ACA also aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.