June 28, 2019 - 12:58 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) Foreign Ministry said it welcomes the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) submitted by U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, which blocks transfer of defense articles or services that improve Azerbaijan’s offensive air capabilities or air defense systems, which could threaten civil aviation.
"This initiative is topical, since Azerbaijan has not abandoned its threats to shoot down civilian aircrafts in Artsakh or to use force against the civilian population of Artsakh," Ministry spokeswoman Ani Sargsyan said in a statement on Thursday, June 27.
"The rehabilitation of the Stepanakert airport is the sovereign right of Artsakh and pursues purely civil and humanitarian goals, in particular, the exercise of such an inalienable right as freedom of movement. The ongoing Azerbaijani blockade has become a permanent and serious obstacle to the realization of the right to free movement of the civilian population of Artsakh, along with other fundamental human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other major international treaties. This position of Azerbaijan clearly demonstrates its open disregard for human rights and fundamental freedoms and is a continuation of its policy of collective punishment of the civilian population.
"Moreover, such actions are internationally wrongful acts of Azerbaijan and should be seriously counteracted by the international community."
Sherman (D-CA), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has filed an amendment that would block the transfer of U.S. defense articles that strengthen Azerbaijan's offensive airstrike capabilities.
The initiative aims to limit Baku's ability to act upon its standing threat to shoot down civilian aircraft operating out of Artsakh's Stepanakert Airport.
“This amendment will send a strong message to Azerbaijan that it cannot threaten to shoot down civilian aircraft. Azerbaijan must not be allowed to intimidate its neighbors. The last thing we should do is help strengthen Azerbaijan’s air defenses in any way,” stated Rep. Sherman, upon filing the amendment.