WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced a bipartisan Senate Resolution condemning Azerbaijani forces’ illegal and unprovoked assault on Armenian territory and calling for the United States to immediately halt all security assistance to Azerbaijan.
The bipartisan Resolution, which follows Azerbaijani forces’ recent escalation of hostilities against Armenia, calls on President Biden to make a formal determination regarding whether Azerbaijani officials must be subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The effort also calls for the Department of State to meet all reporting requirements for consideration of U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan following the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recent report, which found the government has continued to make exceptions to bypass a 1992 law banning most U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan without the mandatory reporting and justification requirements.
“Azerbaijan’s renewed assault on Armenian territory and callous targeting of civilian infrastructure is a horrifying show of disregard for human life,” Chairman Menendez said. “As communities across the region, including in Kapan, Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis, and Tchakaten suffer at the hands of the Aliyev regime, the United States must match our words of support with robust action for the people of Armenia. With this Resolution, we are making it clear that it is a national security imperative for the U.S. government to do the right thing and once and for all halt security assistance to Azerbaijan.”
Joining Chairman Menendez in introducing the Resolution was Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Today’s Resolution follows Chairman Menendez’s letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which he urged the Biden administration to take additional measures to stand with the Armenian people as they attempt to repel Azerbaijan’s renewed military aggression.
“As we bear witness to Azerbaijan’s most recent attack, the Administration must not to minimize the Azerbaijani assault in an effort to appear impartial. President Biden said in his 2022 State of the Union Address, ‘…when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,’” Chairman Menendez wrote. “The United States has an important opportunity to stand with the Armenian people as they attempt to repel an authoritarian assault.”
Find a copy of the Senate Resolution here.
Find a copy of the letter here.