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Biden has notified Congress the administration allowing U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan

Biden has notified Congress the administration allowing U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan
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Tuesday, 04 May, 2021, 16:20

President Biden has notified Congress the administration is extending a waiver allowing U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan that was originally restricted over Baku’s conflict with its neighbor Armenia and tension over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

He waiver applies to Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and its renewal — which has happened annually since 2002 — allows the U.S. to provide military assistance to Azerbaijan so long as the secretary of State certifies that such assistance does not contribute to conflict in the region.

In a notification to Congress obtained by The Hill and sent on April 26, Secretary of State Antony Blinken certified that such assistance to Azerbaijan would not “undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia.”The decision is drawing condemnation from the Armenian American community as a betrayal following Biden's historic decision to recognize last month, for the first time, 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,” Armenian National Council of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian said in a statement.

“Any action by President Biden that greenlights U.S. aid to [Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s] regime runs counter to his clear stand and, more profoundly, the spirit of his recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” he added.