Washington, D.C. - A bipartisan letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spearheaded by the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign, State, and Related Operations, Rep. Barbara Lee, and signed by over 50 Members of Congress urged the Administration to enforce Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act states that U.S. funds “may not be provided 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.”
“We welcome this timely initiative by Congresswoman Lee and her colleagues. The ongoing suffering faced by Armenians is unacceptable, and immediate action is needed,” said Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. “As we have highlighted in our House and Senate testimony earlier this year, we urge the Administration to enforce Section 907, not waive it. The Assembly also reiterates its position that any peace agreement must be acceptable to the people of Artsakh and as it has done so in the past urges Congress and the Administration to uphold the fundamental principles of democracy, the right to self-determination, and the universal human rights of the people of Artsakh,” Khaloyan continued.
Citing “the deteriorating humanitarian situation caused by Azerbaijan’s extended blockade of the Lachin Corridor,” the letter emphasized that “Azerbaijan’s blockade is both a violation of international humanitarian law and of the November 9th agreement… [and] “and also stands in opposition to calls from this administration – as well as international entities including the International Court of Justice –to ensure the free flow of commercial traffic along the Lachin Corridor.”
In urging the Administration to enforce Section 907, the letter highlighted that “as long as Azerbaijan’s blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh is in effect,” the Administration “should not be sending security assistance” and must “cease further military assistance to Azerbaijan.”
In addition to Rep. Lee, the bipartisan letter is signed by the following Members of Congress: Reps. Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Josh Harder (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Eleanor Norton (D-DC), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jesús García (D-IL), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL) Janice Schakowski (D-IL), Bradley Schneider (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), C. Ruppersberger (D-MD), John Sarbanes (D-MD), David Trone (D-MD), Jack Auchincloss (D-MA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Susie Lee (D-NV), Dina Titus (D-NV), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Val Hoyle (D-OR), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Greg Casar (D-TX), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), and Donald Beyer (D-VA).