Politics 11:16 28/09/2022 World

Senators introduce bipartisan legislation seeking end to U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and senior member Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation today condemning Azerbaijan’s recent unprovoked attack on Armenia, calling for the immediate end to U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan, urging the release of Armenian POWs, and exploring sanctions against Azerbaijan for war crimes, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). The resolution also urges Azerbaijan to respect the territorial integrity of Armenia and send robust U.S. assistance Artsakh and Armenia.

“Azerbaijan’s renewed assault on Armenian territory and callous targeting of civilian infrastructure is a horrifying show of disregard for human life,” Chairman Menendez said. “As communities across the region, including in Kapan, Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis, and Tchakaten suffer at the hands of the Aliyev regime, the United States must match our words of support with robust action for the people of Armenia. With this resolution, we are making it clear that it is a national security imperative for the U.S. government to do the right thing and once and for all halt security assistance to Azerbaijan.”

“We welcome Chairman Menendez and Sen. Rubio’s decisive leadership to enforce Section 907, stopping U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan, in the face of Azerbaijan’s ongoing occupation of sovereign Armenian and Artsakh territory,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The U.S. policy of artificial even-handedness has only emboldened President Aliyev to expand his attacks against Armenia and Artsakh.  It’s long past time to end security assistance to Azerbaijan and sanction Aliyev and his corrupt government.”

The Senate resolution comes in the wake of two measures introduced in the U.S. House – led by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) respectively, and supported by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues – which condemn Azerbaijan’s latest attacks against Armenia and Artsakh, urge an end to military aid to Azerbaijan, and urge U.S. and international investigations into Azerbaijani war crimes.  The Schiff Resolution (H.Res.1351) currently has 48 cosponsors.

On September 13th, Azerbaijani forces launched a heavy artillery attack using mortars and drones on Armenian military and civilian infrastructure in Sotk, Vardenis, Goris, Kapan, Jermuk, Artanish and Iskhanasar, located on Armenia’s eastern border with Azerbaijan. Over 200 Armenians have been confirmed killed, 293 injured, and 20 taken captive with Azerbaijani troops still stationed on sovereign Armenian territory. The attack is the largest since the 2020 Turkey and Azerbaijan-led 44-day war against Artsakh and Armenia, which claimed over 5000 Armenian lives.

Less than a week after the attacks, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) led a Congressional delegation visit to Armenia in a show of U.S. solidarity for the Armenian people in the face of Azerbaijani aggression.  “America is committed to Armenia’s security, democracy and we stand with Armenia in a difficult time,” stated Speaker Pelosi, who went on to “strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s recent attacks on Armenia.”  The delegation included Congressional Armenian Caucus co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

The ANCA’s online advocacy platform – anca.org/907 – has been updated to urge support for the Senate Resolution submitted by Chairman Menendez and Sen. Rubio.

Find a copy of the resolution here.



Source Panorama.am
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