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Armenian lobby puts Washington in awkward position before Baku

1 July 2019 18:58 (UTC+04:00)
Armenian lobby puts Washington in awkward position before Baku

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

The Armenian lobby in the U.S wants to solve all the tasks of Armenia at the expense of the Washington congressmen.

The pro-Armenian U.S Congressman Bradley Sherman has made a proposal to amend the "National Defense Authorization Act" of the U.S. and prohibit the sale to Azerbaijan of American weapons that can be used against the so-called “civil aviation” of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.

This provocative legislative initiative aims to limit the actions of Azerbaijan in case the occupational Armenian regime tries to use the airport in the occupied Khankendi. Sherman noted that this amendment will be a "signal" to Azerbaijan that it cannot "threaten" to shoot down civilian aircraft in the occupied Khankendi.

The insane proposal has been sent to the U.S. House Committee on Rules; after its consideration, it will be presented to the lower house of Congress.

The proposal of Sherman is absurd and a waste of the U.S. congressmen’s time. Because in October 1992, the U.S. Congress passed a law called the Act in Support of Freedom, which regulates the provision of state assistance to former Soviet republics. According to Section 907 of the law, the U.S. government was forbidden to assist the official structures of Azerbaijan. That is, there is no sale of American weapons to Azerbaijan. How can something that doesn't exist be banned?

Some pro-Armenian Congressmen may require Washington to “limit the actions of Baku” in case the occupying forces in Nagorno-Karabakh try to use the Khankendi airport, but the U.S. cannot make such a claim to Azerbaijan. The occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia is not related to the U.S. state defense or national security issue.

In addition, the proposal of the U.S. congressman can be considered a direct intervention in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan and be regarded as an attempt to put pressure on the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

Meanwhile, the State Department has previously called the plans of Armenia a step backwards in the negotiation process on Karabakh, which may hinder progress.

The OSCE also stated that the opening an airport in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh contributes to further boosting the atmosphere of distrust. "Whatever done in relation to this airport cannot have consequences for the status of this territory," the statement read.

Germany also refused to support Yerevan in this issue. German Federal Government noted that opening the airport in occupied Khankendi without the permission of Azerbaijan contradicts the spirit of the ceasefire agreement concluded in 1994 between Armenia and Azerbaijan and carries the threat of an escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Moreover, there is international legislation, including that on civil aviation. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) considers the airport in occupied Khankendi to be an Azerbaijani infrastructure facility, in connection with which it has been assigned a corresponding code. That is, the legal owner of the airport is Azerbaijan.

In order for the Khankendi airport to work, it must receive the relevant documents and confirmation from the ICAO. But the self-proclaimed entity in the occupied Azerbaijani lands does not have official recognition in the world.

Thus, any pro-Armenian statements about the airport in occupied Khankendi are illegal from an international point of view.

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