Rep. Eshoo, Former Speaker Pelosi lead bipartisan congressional call to sanction Azerbaijan

75 U.S. Representatives Press President Biden to Hold Azerbaijan Accountable

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congressional pressure on the Biden administration to end U.S. complicity in Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh’s 120,000 indigenous Armenian Christians increased this week with 75 U.S. House members calling on the administration to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan and enforce Section 907 restrictions on U.S. military aid to the genocidal Aliyev regime, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“President Biden materially enabled and morally emboldened Azerbaijani dictator Ilham Aliyev to genocide Artsakh. He repeatedly waived Section 907, sending military aid to Azerbaijan; both-sided genocide, knowing Azerbaijan was the aggressor; operated zero U.S. aid programs in Artsakh for the past three years; and made no mention of Azerbaijan’s aggression – as it was happening – during his U.N. General Assembly speech,” said Aram Hamparian, executive director of the ANCA. “This was not some innocent error of ignorance, indifference or inaction – but rather the result of President Biden – as a matter of U.S. policy developed and implemented over multiple years and over broad-based congressional objections – standing on the wrong side of the Artsakh genocide.”

In this latest congressional letter, led by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a bipartisan group of lawmakers condemned Azerbaijan’s “unprovoked military offensive” and “cruel nine-month blockade” of Artsakh, which “left the region’s Armenian population with no option but to flee, fearing for their future under Azerbaijan’s brutal authoritarian rule.”  The U.S. representatives stated, “It is clear that our country’s response to this crisis has not been commensurate with the scale of the devastation. We believe the United States must make clear to Azerbaijan that its unprovoked aggression against Artsakh is unacceptable and will be met with an appropriate response.”

The lawmakers noted that “this preventable humanitarian disaster is unfolding on our watch,” despite efforts of atrocities prevention scholars sounding the alarm about the Artsakh genocide.

The lawmakers suggested three specific actions the Biden administration must take “to bring an end to this needless suffering and ensure Azerbaijan faces consequences for engaging in ethnic cleansing.”  Those actions include:

1) Enforce Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, a provision of current law that prohibits U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan, and impose targeted sanctions on Azerbaijani officials under the Global Magnitsky Act to make clear to Azerbaijan that its aggression will not be tolerated.

2) Provide robust humanitarian assistance to support Artsakh’s displaced population and rally the international community to do the same by leading the establishment of an international humanitarian relief operation.

3) Take all actions necessary to ensure the safe evacuation of Artsakh’s population to Armenia, including through the immediate deployment of observers to the Berdzor (Lachin) Corridor, as well as direct engagement with Azerbaijani authorities to secure amnesty for Artsakh’s local leaders.

Joining Rep. Eshoo and Speaker Emerita Pelosi in co-signing the letter to President Biden are representatives: Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Sean Casten (D-IL), Joaquín Castro (D-TX), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-FL), Judy Chu (D-CA), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Lou Correa (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Dwight Evans (D-PA), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), John Larson (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Mike Levin (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Jenn McClellan (D-VA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Morgan McGarvey (D-KY), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Katie Porter (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Deborah Ross (D-NC), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Dina Titus (D-NV), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD), David Valadao (R-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Susan Wild (D-PA), and Nikema Williams (D-GA).

The full text of the Congressional letter is available here.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

1 Comment

  1. Azerbaijan unprovoked aggression against Artsakh is unacceptable and must be met with an appropriate response.
    What can you do to help? Are you going to do nothing at all? You have the power and position to help the Armenian people and their children so use it!

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