September 22, 2023

Cassidy, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Sanction Aliyev Regime, Support Armenians Against Azerbaijan’s Aggression

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the bipartisan Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression Act. The legislation responds to the actions of the Government of Azerbaijan by providing humanitarian assistance to Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, preventing additional security assistance from going to the Government of Azerbaijan, and calling for additional accountability for alleged atrocities committed against Armenians.

The bill would repeal the waiver authority for section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, banning most assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan. It would also authorize foreign military financing for Armenia, develop a strategy to ensure the security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, and impose sanctions on the Aliyev regime for its actions against Armenians.

“The Azeri government and President Aliyev used first a blockade and then an attack to force their will upon Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Armenians suffered the first genocide of the 20th century, which opened the door for many of the horrors in this century. This is the latest episode of the use of force to resolve things which should be done diplomatically.”

“President Aliyev has repeatedly shown he will stop at nothing to eradicate Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and threaten his neighbors,” said Chairman Menendez. “This urgent bipartisan legislation both solidifies our collective support for Armenians and sends a clear message to the people of Nagorno-Karabakh that the United States will not stand idly by while the Aliyev regime carries out its brutal campaigns of starvation and military action.” 

“Azerbaijan’s renewed attacks on Nagorno-Karabakh are unacceptable. The US and international community must act to end the blockade, halt Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenians and hold those responsible accountable. This legislation sends a clear signal that we will not stand idly by in the face of these attacks,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

“We cannot stand idly by as Azerbaijan takes escalatory steps to ethnically cleanse Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. We must swiftly pass this legislation to provide immediate support to Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh and to ensure the Azerbaijani regime is held accountable for its grave human rights violations and unprovoked acts of aggressions on Armenians in the region,” said Senator Padilla. “I will continue to work to create the conditions for lasting peace in the region.”

“America can’t stand idly by as brutal violence perpetrated by the authoritarian regime in Azerbaijan raises the specter of genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Whitehouse. “This legislation imposes stiff sanctions that will help hold the Azerbaijani government accountable for its clear human rights violations, while authorizing much-needed humanitarian assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh and the people of Armenia.”