ArmInfo.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 seventy-five 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 US aid programs in Artsakh for the past three years, and; made no mention of Azerbaijan's aggression - as it was happening - during his UN 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 Lachin Corridor, as well as direct engagement with Azerbaijani authorities to secure amnesty for Artsakh's local leaders.
The full text of the Congressional letter is available at: https://anca.org/assets/pdf/100223_EshooPelosi_Sanctions.pdf