The U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee Chair Calls for Halt to Aid to Azerbaijan
The new chair of the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee called Washington to halt aid to Azerbaijan and ramp up support for Armenia.
Support for Armenians
The U.S. “must both prioritize support for the Armenians who have been expelled and hold Azerbaijan accountable,” said Cardin.
Preventing Territorial Gains
“As we look forward, we must take steps to ensure that Azerbaijan does not advance militarily in pursuit of further territorial gains, including forcefully condemning inflammatory rhetoric,” he said.
Halting Security Assistance
He called on the U.S. to halt security assistance as leverage to prevent Azerbaijan from forcibly seeking a land corridor inside Armenia to connect to its exclave of Nakhchivan.
Limitations on Assistance
U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan is already limited by Congress, which, under a 1992 law, has prohibited security aid. But American presidents have waived the restrictions yearly, citing U.S. national security interests.
A U.S. government report last year said Azerbaijan received $164 million in U.S. security assistance between 2002 and 2020.
Close Ties and Military Expansion
Azerbaijan has close ties with Türkiye and Israel, with its oil wealth allowing it to ramp up its military in recent years.
Cardin took over last month from Senator Bob Menendez, who was indicted on corruption allegations.
Supporting Democratic Reforms
“The U.S. should also continue to support democratic reforms that Armenia’s leadership has taken in recent years, including efforts to promote transparency, good governance, and economic cooperation with the U.S. and Western Europe more broadly,” he added.
Azerbaijani Anti-Terrorism Initiative
The Azerbaijani army initiated an anti-terrorism initiative on Sept. 19 in Karabakh to establish constitutional order in the region.
Illegal Armenian armed forces in Karabakh surrendered after 24-hour counterterrorism steps.
Following the measures, Azerbaijan established full sovereignty in the region and urged the Armenian population to become part of Azerbaijani society.