Menendez, Booker Call For Immediately Halt of U.S. Military Aid to Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON — Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) issued the following statement on the recent escalation in violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border:

“We are deeply concerned about the reports of violence along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. Azerbaijan, with Turkey’s support, has chosen a path of violence instead of the peaceful, negotiated process spearheaded by the OSCE Minsk Group. We urge a stop to the fighting and immediate resumption of peace talks.

“Baku’s recent actions have only exacerbated violence and hindered efforts to reach lasting stability and peaceful end to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, forcing us to once again raise serious questions about our current levels of military assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan. Providing nearly $120 million in security assistance to a regime that flouts a peace process co-chaired by the U.S. is absurd. We call on the Trump administration to immediately halt this assistance and fully respect Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.”

In a June 3, 2020 letter, Ranking Member Menendez requested the Government Accountability Office (GAO) formally open a review of the provision of assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan due to Congress’ limited understanding of its scope, nature, and impact.