Members of Congress Sign Letter Urging U.S. to Stop Azerbaijan Funding
Updated: May 25, 2021
Washington, D.C. - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed a bipartisan letter spearheaded by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), along with the Caucus leadership, calling on the Administration “to suspend any existing military or security assistance to Azerbaijan,” given the war it launched last year against Artsakh, reported the Assembly.
In a statement released today, Rep. Valadao remarked: “Not a single American tax dollar should be sent to the armed forces of oil-rich Azerbaijan - a country that ethnically cleansed Artsakh, holds Armenian POWs, and now occupies territory in the Republic of Armenia.”
Highlighting concerns over the Administration’s decision to waive Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, the letter states in part: “We are concerned that the State Department did not fully consider Azerbaijan’s lack of progress in ceasing its blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), and instead moved forward with this waiver without detailing serious national security concerns. This year’s waiver comes despite last year’s 44-day war, Azerbaijan’s embrace of Al Qaeda-linked Syrian mercenaries, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s renunciation of further diplomacy to resolve outstanding issues. These actions are inconsistent with provisions of the Section 907 waiver and demonstrate the dire need for changes to the Administration’s waiver process to prevent further aid from going to Azerbaijan until they make demonstrable changes to their behavior.”
“The U.S. has provided over $100 million in aid from American taxpayer dollars to Azerbaijan, which is being used by the Aliyev regime to destabilize the South Caucasus region with its aggressive and unchecked actions,” said Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. “We urge the Administration and Congress to uphold the letter and spirit of Section 907.”
Joining Armenian Caucus Leaders David Valadao (R-CA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the letter were U.S. House of Representatives Members Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), James Langevin (D-RI), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Andy Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Thomas Suozzi (D-NY), and Dina Titus (D-NV).
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.