Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Washington, D.C. - Today, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the bipartisan resolution, S.Res.797, along with SFRC Member Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), calling to stop security assistance to the Aliyev regime and condemning the Azerbaijani military's illegal and unprovoked assault on sovereign Armenia territory, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). "The Assembly commends Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez for spearheading bipartisan legislation with his SFRC colleague Marco Rubio, condemning Azerbaijan's aggression and calling for the enforcement of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act," said Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. "On the two-year anniversary of the 44-day war, this legislation responds forcefully to the renewed attacks on Armenia earlier this month by Azerbaijan." The Resolution references Azerbaijan's illegal invasion of Armenia on September 13, 2022 as a "flagrant violation of Armenia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a violation of international law," which resulted in over 200 Armenians being killed or missing in action, as well as the displacement of close to 3,000 civilians and the unlawful apprehension of 23 additional Armenians. The Senators stated that "Azerbaijan's latest attack on Armenian territory and the Armenian people follows a long pattern of aggression, including during the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War, when an attack by Azerbaijani forces ignited a conflict that killed more than 6,500 people and displaced almost 100,000 ethnic Armenians," in addition to Azerbaijan continuing to hold over 100 Armenian POWs and civilian prisoners hostage from the Fall 2020 War on Artsakh. Highlighting the U.S. Government Accounting Office's report, which was publicly released earlier this year, special emphasis was made on the importance of enforcing Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act. Section 907 prohibits U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan "until the President determines, and so reports to 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." In addition, the Resolution calls on President Biden to make a formal determination regarding whether Azerbaijani officials must be subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The Resolution also calls for the "robust provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh affected by Azerbaijan's war of aggression." "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." Today's action follows H.Res.1351, spearheaded by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), which condemns Azerbaijan's unprovoked military attacks on the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh and calls for an end to U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.