Azerbaijan International

Autumn 2006 (14.3)

Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act: What Is It?

Above: Map of Azerbaijan and neighboring countries with particular emphasis on Azerbaijan's territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been occupied by Armenians beginning in 1992. Much of Hafiz Pashayev's assignment as Ambassador to the United States dealt with informing Americans about the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

The U.S. Congress passed the Freedom Support Act in the fall of 1992 to facilitate economic and humanitarian aid to the former republics of the Soviet Union, hoping it would help stabilize democratic forms of government and foster economic growth. All 15 republics were eligible for assistance, with the exception of Azerbaijan. Those receiving direct aid to their own governments include Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The specific clause - Title 9, Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act - restricting U.S. aid to the Azerbaijan reads as follows: "United States assistance under this or any other actmay not be provided to the government of Azerbaijan until the [U.S.] President determines, and so reports to 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." The bill was introduced into the U.S. Congress in 1992 by John Kerry [Democratic hopeful in the 2004 U.S. Presidential elections].

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