Azerbaijan should be more active to abolish 907th amendment: former congressman
The United States, Oct. 14 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/
Former vice-chairman of the US Congress's Armed Services Committee, Curt Weldon is urging Azerbaijani Diaspora in the US to be more active in their efforts to abolish the 907 amendment in Congress.
"Azerbaijani Diaspora and lobbyist organizations must put more effective efforts into that," former head of Azerbaijani caucus in the US Congress, Weldon said.
In October 1992 the US Congress approved the Law Act supporting freedom in regulating the distribution of state aid to former Soviet Republics.
The U.S government was forbidden to render aid to official Azerbaijani organizations by the 907th amendment. The effect of 907th amendment has been suspended by the U.S president on an annual basis starting from 2002 in accordance with privileges given by Congress in 2001. The effect of the 907th amendment has been suspended for 2009.
Weldon noted that it is about few years since the Group of friends of Azerbaijan is raising this issue, but their efforts are not enough without help.
"The Azerbaijani Diaspora should establish relations with Congress members and ask them to join the Azerbaijani caucus which is "a small group which is less than group of friend of Armenia," he said.
The US-Azerbaijan relations should grow positively in all aspects, Weldon said. He added that he will continue to urge Congress to support efforts to improve relations between the two countries.
"There are vast opportunities to cooperate in such areas as health care, environment, trade, and exchanges such as scientific, technological, and government staff exchange," he said.
Regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, former Congress member reiterated U.S. policy of supporting Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, and U.S. participation with the French and Russians in brokering a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.