WASHINGTON, DC – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Biden administration’s waiver of Section 907 restrictions on the US aid to Azerbaijan has given the Aliyev regime the “green light” to “act with impunity,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The statement came during a June 8 hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Secretary of State Blinken on President Biden’s foreign aid priorities for fiscal year 2022. Secretary Blinken was also confronted with to similar concerns about continued US aid to Azerbaijan, the ongoing illegal captivity of Armenian prisoners of war (PW) by Aliyev’s regime, and US ties to the autocratic Turkish regime in Turkey. Erdogan during hearings before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee this week.
“We join our allies in Congress in demanding an immediate end to all US military aid to Azerbaijan,” said ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian. “Not a single US taxpayer dollar should be sent to Aliyev’s oil-rich, racist and violent regime. Period. End of sentence, ”Hamparian concluded.
During questioning by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, President Menendez explained: “I was disappointed that the administration gave the green light to the [Section] Renewal of derogation 907 despite Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno-Karabakh. Now, after the 907 waiver, to interfere with the real territorial sovereignty of Armenia in the border issue, not to release the real prisoners of the conflict in violation of international law – I mean, I think they [Azerbaijan] can act with impunity and I think when we gave it up [Section 907], we gave them the green light.
Secretary Blinken stammered in a clearly strained response, saying, “We need to keep looking at this. I have been actively working on this topic in particular, getting the prisoners back, engaging in a real negotiation process of discussion on a real resolution and working on those things, and I was hoping we would get a little traction. But I think we need to keep looking at this and revisiting this in the future, “continued Secretary Blinken.
During the hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, the committee’s lead representative, Brad Sherman (D-CA), told Secretary Blinken: “The administration has issued a waiver of the article. 907 to authorize the sale of arms to Azerbaijan, and I hope you will reconsider that. in the light of the violations of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan not of Nagorno-Karabakh, although this is important, but of Armenia itself, within the framework of unprovoked aggression.
During the House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on foreign operations, President Barbara Lee (D-CA) indicated that she would submit a question regarding Nagorno-Karabakh and the lifting of restrictions on the article. 907 on aid to Azerbaijan and requested a written response from Secretary Blinken.
Regarding Turkey, Senator Menendez said: “There are more journalists and lawyers arrested in Turkey today and in prisons. Turkey constantly violates, in my opinion, international law when it threatens Cyprus and its exclusive economic zone, when it declares an economic zone going to Libya which is not recognized at all but interferes with the economic zone of Greece. , when it engages in an aggression against Armenia by Azerbaijan, while it plays a harmful role in Libya. So what are we doing to counter Turkey under Erdogan? And, I say Turkey under Erdogan because it’s not about the Turkish people, but it’s definitely about their leader. “
Secretary Blinken noted that “we certainly share these concerns and have engaged Turkey directly on them. When Secretary Blinken argued that the United States must keep Turkey “anchored to the West and aligned with other critical issues,” Senator Menendez retorted: “I understand that we want Turkey to be anchored. to the West, but you cannot be grounded in the West and drift in all other directions further on all the fundamental principles that we believe in as a NATO ally and also everyone else. “