house resolution no.348

Rep. Manoogian offered the following resolution:

A resolution to condemn the ongoing military attacks by the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Republic of Armenia, commend United States diplomats for their efforts to pursue a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the conflict, and call upon the United States government to pause all aid to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Whereas, In September 2022, the Republic of Azerbaijan initiated a new round of hostilities against the Republic of Armenia, the latest chapter in a long history of conflict between these two nations. At 12:05 a.m. on September 13, 2022, Azerbaijani armed forces attacked civilian and military positions in the municipalities of Sotk, Vardenis, Goris, Kapan, Artanish, and Ishkhanasar within the borders of the Republic of Armenia, using mortars and drones. Residents have reported heavy Azerbaijani shelling along the border with Armenia. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has recognized that this fighting "was initiated by the Azeris"; and

Whereas, Armenian sovereignty and territorial integrity has been repeatedly violated by the Republic of Azerbaijan. As the result of a previous Azerbaijani-instigated incursion in 2021, the Republic of Azerbaijan has occupied 41 square kilometers of Armenian territory. During the current invasion, the Republic of Azerbaijan has now occupied an additional 10 square kilometers in the Republic of Armenia; and

Whereas, This aggression by the Republic of Azerbaijan has exacted a human toll on the people of both nations. As of September 16, 2022, the Republic of Armenia reports that 135 service members have been killed in the fighting, and the Republic of Azerbaijan says 77 members of its military have been killed. Furthermore, Armenians are reporting that the Azerbaijani military has taken 20 Armenians as prisoners of war during this bout of fighting. Both countries note that these totals will likely rise. This escalation of the war by the Republic of Azerbaijan has ignited a new humanitarian crisis within the Republic of Armenia, which reports that more than 7,600 civilians have been displaced from border communities as a result of the renewed violence. Media outlets are also reporting damage done to more than 192 homes. Additionally, these Armenian refugees may have the heart of their communities stolen while the Republic of Azerbaijan controls Armenian territory. Azerbaijani forces have as standard practice  engaged in the desecration of Armenian cultural and holy sites in areas they have captured, spurred on by state-sponsored anti-Armenian campaigns, which begin in primary school curricula around the country; and

Whereas, United States diplomats in Yerevan, Baku, Geneva, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere are working tirelessly to resolve this conflict and stabilize the region. To facilitate dialogue between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, recently appointed Philip Reeker to serve as Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations and Co-Chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk Group; and

Whereas, United States statute grants the President the power to deny aid to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act of 1992 bans almost all direct United States aid to the Azerbaijani government. However, on January 10, 2002, this law was amended to allow the President of the United States to issue a Section 907 waiver, lifting the ban on aid to the Republic of Azerbaijan, if it "is necessary to support United States efforts to counter international terrorism," "is necessary to support the operational readiness of United States Armed Forces or coalition partners to counter international terrorism," "is important to Azerbaijan's border security," and "will not undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia." Since 2002, every sitting President, including President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., has exercised his right to waive Section 907; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we condemn the ongoing military attacks by the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Republic of Armenia and call for a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the conflict that is based in securing a peaceful future for the Armenian people, respecting the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia, and protecting human rights and ancient Armenian holy and cultural sites; and be it further

Resolved, The we recognize the ongoing efforts of American diplomats to achieve a long-lasting and peaceful resolution to this conflict; and be it further

Resolved, That we call upon the United States Congress to pause all aid to the Republic of Azerbaijan and call for President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., to rescind the waiver for Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act of 1992; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the United States Secretary of State, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the members of the Michigan congressional delegation, and United States Representatives Anna Eshoo of California, Frank Pallone of New Jersey, Adam Schiff of California, and Jackie Speier of California.