Menendez and Schiff alarmed that Biden again approves US military aid to Azerbaijan – Asbarez.com

Senator Menendez: “It just doesn’t make sense to say that U.S. aid and training didn’t have an impact on his [Azerbaijan’s] military balance with Armenia.

Rep. Schiff: “Under no circumstances should the United States provide military support to such a regime […] President Biden should not have waived Section 907.”

WASHINGTON—Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and House Standing Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) reacted strongly to the president’s decision. Biden to again waive Section 907 restrictions on US aid to Azerbaijan, greenlighting new US military aid to the Aliyev regime despite its ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Armenian population of Artsakh (Upper Karabakh), the Armenian National Committee of America reported.

In a statement released Friday, President Menendez said, “I am deeply disappointed to see the Department of State once again make an exception to circumvent Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act to provide what became an annual aid to the Baku regime. Adding insult to injury, the administration chose to go ahead with this most recent waiver despite the recent release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that confirmed that the Department of State and Department of Defense failed to meet legal requirements for reporting to Congress on the impact of US aid on the military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

President Menendez continued: “As Azerbaijan continues to occupy more territory since its violent assault on Nagorno-Karabakh, in which more than 6,500 people died and more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians were displaced in 2020, it just doesn’t make sense to say that aid and training hasn’t impacted his military balance with Armenia. I will continue to exercise rigorous scrutiny of any assistance to Azerbaijan and expect the State Department to be transparent and provide all necessary details to Congress to assess any assistance provided to Baku.

In a comment posted to the ANCA, Speaker Schiff pledged to work with congressional allies and the Armenian American community to “remove a president’s power to waive Section 907 and urge the Biden administration to reinvigorate the peace process.” President Schiff explained: “Azerbaijan is responsible for causing a horrific war and humanitarian catastrophe in Armenia and Artsakh, killing thousands of Armenians over 44 days in September 2020 and forcing thousands more to flee. their ancestral homelands. To this day, Azerbaijan continues to illegally detain Armenian soldiers who have been subjected to torture and threaten thousands of innocent civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh who live in fear of another attack and another invasion. .

President Schiff continued: “Under no circumstances should the United States provide military support to such a regime – not only does this run counter to our nation’s core democratic values, but it could give the Aliyev regime the power to continue or intensify its provocative actions against the Armenians. President Biden should not have waived Section 907.”

ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian thanked President Menendez and President Schiff for speaking out against the Biden administration’s reckless move – demanding tighter congressional scrutiny and a halt to US military aid to Azerbaijan. “Not a single penny of American taxpayers’ money should go to the overtly racist and overtly aggressive Aliyev regime. We look forward to working with President Menendez and President Schiff and their colleagues on key Senate and House committees to oppose US subsidies to Azerbaijan’s genocidal violence against Artsakh and Armenia.

The ANCA ran an online campaign – https://anca.org/907 – condemning President Biden’s decision and urging Congress to use all possible legislative means to eliminate military aid to Azerbaijan.

On June 23, the Biden administration reportedly notified Congress of its decision to waive Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act. The measure, passed in 1992, establishes statutory restrictions on U.S. aid to the Azerbaijani government “until the President determines, and reports to Congress, that the Azerbaijani government is taking demonstrable steps to end all blockade and other offensive use of force”. against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Congress included a Section 907 waiver in the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Act for fiscal year 2002. Since then, U.S. presidents—Republicans and Democrats alike—have waived Section 907 every year.

During his run for office on October 14, 2020, then-nominee Biden said the United States must “fully implement and not waive the requirements of Section 907 of the support for freedom to stop the flow of military equipment to Azerbaijan”. As president, he first reversed his position on the issue on April 23, 2021 – on the eve of his historic announcement correctly recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released earlier this year found that the State Department had consistently failed to inform Congress of the impact of more than $164 million in aid. in Baku on the military balance between Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to the GAO, the United States provided approximately $808 million in overall U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan in fiscal years 2002 through 2020.

About Christopher Easley

Check Also

SEAT-VW says to go ahead with Spanish electric car and battery project

MADRID, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Volkswagen’s Spanish unit SEAT is to go ahead with a …