When the U.S. Congress passed the Freedom Support Act in 1992, setting aside funding to help the former Soviet republics after the USSR collapsed, it included the stipulation that funds could be given to all 12 of the former Soviet Republics with one exception - Azerbaijan's government. This directive - known as Section 907 - reads as follows:
"United States assistance under this or any other actmay not be provided to the government of Azerbaijan until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh."
This biased legislation, influenced by the Armenian lobby, was not based on the realities of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Unfortunately, it has been in place now for eight years, despite several attempts by members of Congress and the Clinton administration to lift it.
We've gathered some contemporary opinions about 907's long-term negative effects from policy makers representing the United States as well as Azerbaijan. Not a single one of them is convinced that this legislature is having a positive effect on any of the players of the region.
Stanley Escudero, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan
Irshad Aliyev, Azerbaijan Minister of Agriculture