U.S. Senate Sends 907 Waiver Repeal Bill To House
The United States Senate on Thursday sent the bill it has adopted on repealing section 907 waiver authority with respect to assistance to Azerbaijan to the House for consideration, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.
The bill S.3000, also known as Armenian Protection Act of 2023, was introduced at the Senate by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) on September 29 and passed by voice vote on November 15.
The Senate version of the bill reads: "The President may not exercise the waiver authority provided pursuant to title II of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2002 (Public Law 107–115) (22 U.S.C. 5812 note), under the heading “assistance for the independent states of the former Soviet Union” under subsection (g), with respect to amounts appropriated or otherwise made available for fiscal years 2024 or 2025."
Currently, there are two related bills pending in the House, which have been introduced in September: H.R.5683 (Supporting Armenians Against Azerbaijani Aggression Act of 2023) authored by Congressman Frank Pallone, and H.R.5686 (Preventing Ethnic Cleansing and Atrocities in Nagorno-Karabakh Act of 2023) by Chris Smith. None of the bills have received a committee hearing as they lack a sufficient number of co-sponsors.
In the meantime, the Biden administration made it clear this week that it doesn't anticipate submitting a waiver on Section 907 "until such time that we see a real improvement [in the peace talks]" as assistant secretary of State James O'Brien put it during during a hearing before the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Official Baku, represented by the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, assessed these steps as a blow to bilateral relations, which could lead to the loss of the US role as a mediator in the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.