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Reps. Titus & Bilirakis Introduce Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act of 2024

Washington, DC - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) welcomed the introduction of a bipartisan bill spearheaded by Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), that will provide for a review of sanctions with respect to Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijan Sanctions Review Act of 2024 cites Azerbaijan's military assault on Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2023, the 10 month blockade of the Lachin Corridor that resulted in a humanitarian crisis, forced displacement of Karabakh Armenians, Azerbaijan's continued detainment and torture of Armenian prisoners of war, and human rights violations.

"Despite its international legal obligations under the Geneva Conventions and repeated calls by the United States Government, Azerbaijan has not released all relevant persons and instead continues to detain new prisoners of war, hostages, and captured civilians, nor have those responsible for serious human rights violations and war crimes faced legal consequences," the bill highlighted.

The bill also listed a number of officials representing the Republic of Azerbaijan, and highlighted that "not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a determination, including a detailed justification, of whether any person listed... meets the criteria for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to section 1263(b) of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (22 U.S.C. 2656 note); or section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act.

Rep. Titus - who was first elected in 1988 and serves on the House Foreign Affairs, and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees - announced the bill at the Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Commemoration, where she stated that the US and the international community "needs to stand up and condemn" Azerbaijan.

"We have to call out ethnic cleansing with genocidal intent and put a stop to it with every means we have," Titus said.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Armenian Caucus co-chair, who also spoke at the event, emphasized that human rights violations are inexcusable and that everyone has a "duty and responsibility" to continue to fight for the Armenian people.

"The timely legislation by Rep. Titus and Rep. Bilirakis holds Azerbaijan accountable for a whole range of human rights abuses against the Armenian people," said Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan. "It's imperative that the Aliyev regime and its cohorts bear consequences for their brazen and unlawful actions against the indigenous Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, who were driven from their ancestral homeland as a result of Azerbaijan's genocidal campaign."

Original co-sponsors of this bill, in addition to Reps. Titus and Bilirakis include: Adam Schiff (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Susie Lee (D-NV), Michael Lawler (R-NY), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), and Gabe Amo (D-RI).

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.


NR# 2024-15

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