“Stop all security assistance to Azerbaijan”
WASHINGTON DC- Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, citing Azerbaijan’s most recent attacks on Armenia, called on the Biden administration to “stop all security assistance to Armenia.” Azerbaijan and review all assistance programs to the country,” the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) reported.
“We would like to thank President Menendez for his principled, powerful, and persistent leadership in cutting all U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan—an urgent undertaking made all the more pressing by the bombing, invasion, and occupation. of sovereign Armenian soil by Aliyev,” the ANCA national council said. Member Ani Tchaghlasian, originally from the Garden State. “Working alongside Senator Menendez, we pledge to pursue legal avenues and all other avenues available to us to stop the flow of US tax dollars to the openly aggressive and violently anti-Armenian regime of wealthy Azerbaijan. oil.”
In a strong message of September 22 letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Menendez asserted, “The United States must play no role in supporting authoritarian brutality,” pledging to work with colleagues in the Senate and House to root out the Presidential Waiver of Section 907 (Public Law 107-115) Restrictions on U.S. Aid to Azerbaijan.
President Menendez pointed out that a Government Accountability Office (GAO) review he commissioned, detailing U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan, showed that the State Department “failed to meet legal requirements in reporting to Congress on the impact of U.S. assistance during the reporting period. While the Department of State has agreed with GAO’s recommendations to ensure that the necessary conditions are met to invoke the waiver, it has not yet provided any action plans to GAO on how it will address this concern.
He went on to stress that “the administration should not downplay Azerbaijani aggression in order to appear impartial. President Biden said in his 2022 State of the Union Address, “…when dictators don’t pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos.” The United States has an important opportunity to stand with the Armenian people as they attempt to repel an authoritarian assault.
Earlier this week, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) was joined by seven Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the State Department and the Department of Defense stating that, “in light of recent acts of aggression and repeated of Azerbaijan against Armenia, the United States should cease providing all security assistance to Azerbaijan until Armenia and Azerbaijan reach a permanent and lasting resolution that respects the will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.
September 22, 2022
The Honorable Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State
US State Department
2201 C NW St.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Blinken,
I am writing to express my deep concern over renewed Azerbaijani attacks on Armenian territory, including against civilian infrastructure. These unprovoked and unlawful attacks on communities like Kapan, Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis and Chakaten, which reportedly killed more than 100 Armenians, serve to underscore the brutality of the Aliyev regime. In light of the new Azerbaijani aggression, I urge you to end all security assistance to Azerbaijan and review all assistance programs to the country.
This heinous assault on Armenian territory is just the latest example of a pattern of Azerbaijani brutality. Azerbaijan’s aggression during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War resulted in the deaths of 6,500 people and displaced nearly 100,000 ethnic Armenians. The State Department highlighted in its 2021 National Reports on Human Rights Practices the illegal detention of Armenian soldiers and civilians in Baku, as well as credible reports of unlawful killings and torture by the forces. Azerbaijani. Aliyev’s army reportedly used illegal cluster munitions and phosphorus bombs, and posted videos of beheadings online. Azerbaijan’s unequivocal aggression cannot be tolerated.
The United States should play no role in supporting authoritarian brutality. That’s why I will continue my efforts in Congress to eliminate the overriding power under the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-115) that the administration uses every year. to provide certain types of security. assistance to the Aliyev regime. However, even under current law, the State Department is required to do more to assess the impact of US aid on the military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I commissioned a review of U.S. aid to Azerbaijan by the Government Accountability Office, which found that the State Department had failed to meet legal requirements for reporting to Congress on the impact of the US assistance during the reporting period. Although the Department of State has agreed with the GAO’s recommendations to ensure that the necessary conditions are met to invoke the waiver, it has not yet provided any action plans to the GAO on how it will respond to this. concern.
As we witness Azerbaijan’s most recent attack, the administration should not downplay Azerbaijani aggression in an effort to appear even-handed. President Biden said in his 2022 State of the Union address, “…when dictators don’t pay the price for their aggression, they cause more chaos.” The United States has an important opportunity to stand with the Armenian people as they attempt to repel an authoritarian assault.