By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) – President Joe Biden is lifting restrictions on US aid to Azerbaijan imposed during last year's war in Nagorno-Karabakh, according to a report published on Tuesday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has certified to Congress that Azerbaijan qualifies for US assistance under a law requiring the American top diplomat to tells Congress that assistance to Baku does not contribute to regional conflict.
The Hill news website obtained a copy of the certification.
Aid was restricted last year amid the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Blinken reportedly told lawmakers that its resumption will not “undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan or be used for offensive purposes against Armenia.”
US assistance is “necessary to support U.S. efforts to counter international terrorism; or is necessary to support the operations readiness of the United States Armed Forces or coalition partners to counter international terrorism; or is important to Azerbaijan’s border security,” Blinken further argued.
A State Department spokesperson told the Hill that “U.S. security assistance programs in Armenia and Azerbaijan are designed to enhance regional stability and are carefully monitored to ensure they do not hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the conflict.”