The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) on Wednesday reported that US Representatives are proposing a series of eight anti-Azerbaijan and Turkey amendments to the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defence Authorisation Act (H.R.4350).
One proposal led by Democrat Brad Sherman asks the U.S. Government to block US arms and aid to Azerbaijan, other calls for a ban on the Gray Wolves organisation, while another proposal led by Democrat Tony Cardenas requires a report from the Secretary of Defense on US parts found in Turkish Bayraktar drones deployed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh and an assessment of potential violations of Arms Export Control Act.
Bayraktar drones are built by the private Baykar drone builder, which is owned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law Selçuk Bayraktar.
Over 170 members of U.S. Congress, including prominent leadership, have released a letter urging U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to hold Turkey accountable for its “gross violation of human rights” and “democratic backsliding” earlier this year.
There have been a number of sanctions and condemnations passed the U.S. Congress in recent years showing a strong anti-Erdoğan sentiment there following Ankara’s policies and interventions against Syrian Kurds as well as other human rights violations.
The ANCA listed the eight amendments along with their lead sponsors as below:
Amendment #90 – Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA): Prohibits the transfer of United States security assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan.
Amendment #122 – Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ): Withholds US military aid to Azerbaijan through the Section 333 Building Partner Capacity Program.
Amendment #123 – Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ): Requires a report from the Secretary of Defense, in collaboration with the Secretary of State, addressing allegations that some units of foreign countries that have participated in security cooperation programs under section 333 of title 10, U.S.C. may have also committed gross violations of internationally recognized human rights before or while receiving US security assistance. This report would also includes recommendations to improve human rights training and additional measures that can be adopted to prevent these types of violations.
Amendment #408 – Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) / Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA): Requires a report within 180 days of all US humanitarian and developmental assistance programs in Nagorno Karabakh, including an analysis of the effectiveness of such programs and any plans for future assistance.
Amendment #560 – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) / Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA): Expresses the Sense of Congress that the government of Azerbaijan should immediately return all Armenian prisoners of war and captured civilians. It also urges the Administration to engage with Azerbaijani authorities, including through the OSCE Minsk Group, to make clear the importance of adhering to their obligations under the November 9 statement and international law to immediately release all prisoners of war and captured civilians.
Amendment #579 – Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV): Requires a report by the Secretary of State on the activities of the Grey Wolves organization (AKA Bozkurtlar & Ülkü Ocaklari) undertaken against US interests, allies and international partners, including a review of the criteria met for designation as a foreign terrorist organization.
Amendment #586 – Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA): Requires a report from the Secretary of Defense on US parts found in Turkish Bayraktar drones deployed by Azerbaijan against Nagorno Karabakh and an assessment of potential violations of Arms Export Control Act.