Chairman Menendez Urges Secretary Blinken to Halt U.S. Assistance to Azerbaijan
Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed a letter by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to Secretary Antony Blinken, urging the Administration to cut U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan as a result of its invasion into sovereign Armenia last week. Senator Menendez stated that the "unprovoked and illegal attacks," which killed over 100 Armenians, highlight the "brutality of the Aliyev regime" and urged that all security assistance to Azerbaijan be halted. "This heinous assault on Armenian territory is only the latest example in a pattern of Azerbaijani brutality," continued Senator Menendez, citing the 2020 War on Artsakh launched by Azerbaijan, with the full and open support of Turkey, against the Armenian people of Artsakh, which resulted in thousands of deaths, scores displaced and injured, and close to 200 Armenian prisoners of war still unlawfully held in captivity by Azerbaijan, including "unlawful killings and torture by Azerbaijani forces...[the use of] cluster munitions and phosphorous bombs, and posted videos of beheadings online." Senator Menendez emphasized the Government Accounting Office's (GAO) report publicly released earlier this year that proved that the Department of State and Department of Defense failed to comply with reporting requirements for reviewing U.S. assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan in terms of Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act. "The United States must play no part in supporting authoritarian brutality," said Senator Menendez. "The United States has an important opportunity to stand with the Armenian people as they attempt to repel an authoritarian assault." "The Assembly commends Senator Menendez and fully supports his letter to Secretary of State Blinken," said Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. "The U.S. must step in to cut off assistance to Azerbaijan, because the more Aliyev's belligerent actions go unchecked, the further he will destabilize the region and the emerging democracy in Armenia will be at grave risk."
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.