"The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, a clash between the principles of territorial integrity and self-determination, is the longest interethnic dispute in the former Soviet Union. Ethnic Armenians, the majority in the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, have a different culture, religion, and language than Azeris. They seek to join Armenia or to become independent. Azerbaijan seeks to preserve its national integrity. The dispute has produced violence, mutual expulsion of rival nationals, charges and countercharges. After the December 1991 demise of the Soviet Union and subsequent dispersal of sophisticated Soviet weaponry, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict worsened, and thousands of deaths and 1.4 million refugees resulted...The United States is officially neutral in the dispute in part because it is a Minsk Group co-chair and mediator. Congress has tended to favor Armenia. Sec. 907 of P.L. 102-511, October 24, 1992, is a ban on U.S. aid to the Azerbaijan government aimed at pressuring it to lift its blockades of Armenia and Karabakh. Subsequent legislation modified the ban but retained it. P.L. 107-115, January 10, 2002, the foreign operations appropriations bill for 2002, granted the President authority to waive 907. The President did so in January 2002 and 2003. "
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB92109
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