WASHINGTON — Despite ongoing Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia and Artsakh, President Joe Biden has, yet again, waived Section 907 restrictions on US aid to Azerbaijan, clearing the way for continued US assistance to the Aliyev regime, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“President Biden’s decision to green-light military aid to Azerbaijan by waiving Section 907, again, emboldens President Aliyev to continue his illegal imprisonment of Armenian POWs, deadly attacks against Artsakh, and ongoing occupation of sovereign Armenian territory,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The ANCA will continue to work with U.S. Senate and House leaders to zero-out U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan and restrict presidential waiver authority of Section 907.”
During his run for office, on October 14, 2020, then-candidate Biden stated that the United States must “fully implement and not waive requirements under Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act to stop the flow of military equipment to Azerbaijan.” As President, he first reversed his position on the issue on April 23, 2021 — on the eve of his historic announcement properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide. “American recognition of the Armenian Genocide comes with responsibilities, among them not arming or abetting Azerbaijan’s drive to complete this crime,” commented Hamparian at the time. “Any action by President Biden that green-lights U.S. aid to the Aliyev regime runs counter to his clear stand and, more profoundly, the spirit of his recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”
Section 907, enacted in 1992, establishes statutory restrictions on U.S. assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan “until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.” Congress included a Section 907 waiver in the FY2002 Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act. U.S. presidents – Republican and Democrat – have waived Section 907 annually ever since.
The Section 907 waiver and subsequent extensions require a number of certifications, including that granting the waiver “will not undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia.”
US Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released an angry statement.