An influential US senator on Thursday reiterated his opposition to US
sanctions against Azerbaijan. Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, said Congress should repeal Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which bars US assistance to Azerbaijan because of the government's alleged disregard of civil and political rights.
He said: "We should repeal 907. In fact, I think it exacerbates the problem, it allows us limited influence [in Azerbaijan] and it's counterproductive to what we claim we would like to see over there."
Hagel said the US should fundamentally change its foreign policy regarding the Caucasus and Central Asia. He spoke favorably of the US government moving away from a policy of unilateral sanctions and moving more toward engagement.
He made the comments at a forum of Caspian Sea energy in Washington.
Andrew Tully in Washington