WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — The U.S. House of Representatives voted late on Wednesday, July 28, to restrict U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan because of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
A bipartisan amendment co-sponsored by about two dozen pro-Armenian lawmakers blocks any such aid that can be provided under Washington’s Foreign Military Financing and International Military Education and Training programs.
“This bill sends a clear signal that we will not aid or tolerate authoritarian regimes that threaten peace and security, especially when those actions are aimed at a fellow democracy,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, the main author of the measure hailed by Armenian-American lobby groups.
“The House today took a principled, bipartisan stand against Azerbaijan, overwhelmingly voting down U.S. military aid in response to Baku’s ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh (Karabakh) and ongoing aggression against Armenia,” said Raffi Hamparian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“This amendment sends the right message that Azerbaijan will not be rewarded for its hostile actions against the Armenian people,” said Mariam Khaloyan of the Armenian Assembly of America.
The bill does not bar the U.S. Department of Defense from continuing to transfer military equipment to Azerbaijan.