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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 30, 2002

President Lifts Restrictions on Assistance to Azerbaijan
Statement by the Press Secretary
Presidential Waiver of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act

On January 25, 2002, President Bush waived Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act for 2002, thereby lifting restrictions on United States Government Assistance to the Government of Azerbaijan.

President Bush and his Administration worked closely with both the Senate and the House of Representatives, with members of the Armenian American community, and with the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to develop a waiver that is effective, fair, and balanced.  

The waiver clears the way for the United States to deepen its cooperation with Azerbaijan in fighting terrorism and in impeding the movement of terrorists into the South Caucasus.  The waiver will also provide a foundation to deepen security cooperation with Armenia on a common anti-terrorist agenda.

The President's exercise of this waiver authority marks an important step toward advancing a new web of U.S. security relationships with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.  The Administration will build upon these developing ties to deter resumed hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia, to foster reconciliation between the two countries, and to advance a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

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