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Foreign Affairs

Marco Rubio, Bob Menendez Want to Cut Off Security Assistance to Azerbaijan

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is backing the efforts of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ, the chairman of the committee, to cut off security assistance to Azerbaijan.

On Tuesday, Menendez introduced a resolution “condemning Azerbaijani forces’ illegal and unprovoked assault on Armenian territory and calling for the United States to immediately halt all security assistance to Azerbaijan,” which Rubio co-sponsored.

“The bipartisan resolution, which follows Azerbaijani forces’ recent escalation of hostilities against Armenia, calls on President Biden to make a formal determination regarding whether Azerbaijani officials must be subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act. The effort also calls for the Department of State to meet all statutorily required reporting requirements for consideration of U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan following the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recent report which found the government has continued to make exceptions to bypass a 1992 law banning most U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan without the mandatory reporting and justification requirements required by law,” noted Menendez’s office.

“Azerbaijan’s renewed assault on Armenian territory and callous targeting of civilian infrastructure is a horrifying show of disregard for human life,” Menendez said. “As communities across the region, including in Kapan, Goris, Jermuk, Vardenis, and Tchakaten suffer at the hands of the Aliyev regime, the United States must match our words of support with robust action for the people of Armenia. With this resolution, we are making it clear that it is a national security imperative for the U.S. government to do the right thing and once and for all halt security assistance to Azerbaijan.”

Menendez wrote U.S. Sec. of State Antony Blinken on the matter last week.

“As we bear witness to Azerbaijan’s most recent attack, the administration must not to minimize the Azerbaijani assault in an effort to appear impartial. President Biden said in his 2022 State of the Union Address, ‘…when dictators do not pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos,’” Menendez wrote. “The United States has an important opportunity to stand with the Armenian people as they attempt to repel an authoritarian assault.”

Author

  • Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

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