U.S. Continues Military Aid to Azerbaijan Despite Ongoing Aggressions Against Armenia

05/17/2021 United States (International Christian Concern) – The U.S. State Department decided this month that it would continue to allow for the United States to deliver military aid to Azerbaijan, despite its war fought last fall against Armenia. Azerbaijan, alongside Turkish-paid Syrian mercenaries, is documented committing several war crimes against Armenian civilians and soldiers and continues to hold an estimated 200 prisoners of war in violation of the Russian-brokered cease fire agreement.

According to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act of 1992, the United States is prohibited from giving such aid to Azerbaijan. However, this Act was amended in 2001 to allow the President to waive this section, which the State Department has done every year since to promote counterterrorism in the region.

Despite the now vast network of counterterrorism resources in the region and the decrease of Al-Qaeda and ISIS activity in the Middle East, the State Department continues to cite counterterrorism as the primary reason for this waiver. Many Armenian groups have advocated for the end to this waiver, arguing that U.S. military equipment could be used against Armenian soldiers or civilians.

President Joe Biden issued a statement during its campaign calling on the Trump administration to end this waiver and ensured that a Biden administration would allow for Section 907 to be fully enforced with respect to Azerbaijan. The recent decision to renew the waiver contradicts this campaign promise.

Armenia, the oldest Christian nation in the world, continues to face threats from its Turkic neighbors. Most recently, Azerbaijani forces advanced into Armenian territory in an effort to expand its own borders and display its military power over Armenia. Many Armenians are fearful of future military aggressions from Turkey and Azerbaijan and do not want the United States to be complicit in such a violent campaign.

For interviews, please contact Addison Parker: press@persecution.org.

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