State Dept failed to comply with reporting requirements on military assistance to Azerbaijan

Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a report by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) which found that, according to Chairman Menendez, “the State Department failed to comply with reporting requirements for reviewing U.S. assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan,” reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).

The report reveals previously undisclosed total of $164,000,000 in US military/security aid provided to Azerbaijan under Section 907 waiver authority (2002-2020) – with aid ramping up dramatically in the two years prior to Azerbaijan’s 2020 attack on Artsakh.

According to Chairman Menendez, the GAO report “found that over several years, the Department of State and Department of Defense failed to meet statutory reporting requirements to Congress on the impact of U.S. assistance on the military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

“We commend Chairman Menendez for his leadership. Given Azerbaijan’s unprovoked war in the Fall of 2020 and the ongoing ceasefire violations committed by Azerbaijan, along with the failure of the State Department to comply with the reporting requirements of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, we urge Congress to fully enforce Section 907,” stated Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan.

Per Senator Menendez’s press release, the following are key findings from the GAO report:

· State’s reporting to Congress from FY2014-FY2021 did not address required elements, including the impact on proposed assistance on the military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

· State’s Memorandums of Justification contained limited or no details regarding quantity of assistance, status of the military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the impact of U.S. assistance on the military balance, or the impact of the assistance on peace negotiations.

· State’s 2021 guidance did not provide detailed instructions to agencies about reporting requirements to Congress.

· State and DoD did not document their consideration of waiver requirements from FY2014-FY2020, including how they determined assistance would not be used for offensive purposes against Armenia.

“The Assembly looks forward to working with Chairman Menendez to further strengthen this principled provision of law,” added Khaloyan.

To read the full report, click here.

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