Peace-building expert says US aid should be halted in response to latest aggression by Baku
David L. Phillips, Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, said in his article in the National Interest that Washington should respond to Azerbaijan's recent attacks against Armenia by taking decisive steps.
Pointing out that mere words of protest mean little to the Azerbaijani leadership who believes it can carry out, with Turkey's backing and Turkish weapons, any kind of aggression against Armenia without consequences, Phillips said that Baku has been further emboldened as Ukraine became Biden administration's top priority and the West has turned to Azerbaijan to fill the gap in energy supplies.
He noted that a bipartisan legislation condemning Azerbaijan’s attacks on Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which also requires ending all assistance to Azerbaijan, has been introduced by Congressman Adam Schiff, and added:
"Speaker Nancy Pelosi will travel to Armenia this weekend to show support. Objective observers of the region are bewildered by the Biden administration’s mixed messages on Turkey and Azerbaijan. No doubt Armenian Americans will vent their displeasure during the midterm elections unless Biden takes meaningful steps in reacting to Azerbaijan’s aggression."
"A robust response starts with rescinding the waiver of Section 907 and significantly increasing U.S. aid and presence in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh to protect democratic Armenia. Similar to defending Ukraine, Washington should take steps to prevent Turkic aggression against a sovereign state and strategic partner."
About Section 907
Section 907 of the United States Freedom Support Act bans any kind of direct US aid to the Azerbaijani government.
The Act was was passed in response to Azerbaijan's blockade of Armenia during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War between the two nations.
On October 24, 2001, the Senate adopted an amendment to the Act that would provide the President with the ability to waiver Section 907, which the President has done so since then.