Washington, D.C. – Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders Reps. Adam Schiff (CA-28), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), and Jackie Speier (CA-14), were joined by 46 of their colleagues in a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, expressing deep concern with Azerbaijan’s renewed aggression against Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and the rising possibility of a wider conflict with Armenia.
The member of Congress asked that the Administration use all available diplomatic tools to reduce tensions, end the fighting, and restrain Azerbaijan from further offensive actions.
“As you know, this weekend Azerbaijan launched the most significant offensive against Artsakh in years, and the resulting conflict has caused substantial casualties and damage on both sides. This action is a continuation of increasingly bellicose rhetoric from President Aliyev and his regime towards Artsakh and Armenia, including the threat earlier this year by the Azerbaijani Minister of Defense to bomb an Armenian nuclear power plant. The sustained and coordinated nature of this action makes clear this attack is qualitatively distinct from previous exchanges of sniper fire or artillery across the line of contact, but appears to represent a planned military operation.” The letter states.
Of additional concern for Congressional Members is Azerbaijan receiving material assistance and encouragement from Turkey in taking this action.
The letter further states: “Turkey’s involvement raises the danger of a sustained regional conflict that would be a humanitarian disaster and undermine important U.S. national security priorities.
In our view, this new round of fighting represents further evidence that the U.S. policy of equivalence between Armenia and Azerbaijan has failed. For far too long, the United States and other members of the Minsk Group have drawn a false equivalence between Armenia and Azerbaijan, even as the latter threatens war and refuses to agree to monitoring along the line of contact.”
In conclusion the Congressional Members called upon the Department of State to take the following steps:
- Clearly and unequivocally condemn Azerbaijan’s unprovoked aggression, and make clear that if they do not exercise restraint it will call into question the continuance of U.S. assistance;
- Work with the OSCE Minsk Group to call upon the Aliyev government to cease all offensive uses of force against both Artsakh and Armenia, and to commit to a purely peaceful resolution of status and security issues related to Artsakh;
- Work with the Minsk Group to press Azerbaijan to accept international monitoring along the line of contact, as called for in the Royce-Engel proposals; and;
- Engage at a senior level with Turkey to make clear that the encouragement of Azerbaijan’s recent actions is detrimental to the cause of peace and regional stability.
“We applaud Armenian Caucus leaders Reps. Pallone, Schiff and Speier, for spearheading this timely response to Azerbaijan’s war crimes against Armenia and Artsakh and commend all 46 signatories for taking a principled stand against Islamist forces and the latest state sponsors of terror in the Middle East: Turkey and Azerbaijan,” stated ACA Washington D.C. Representative Taniel Koushakjian.
Armenian Council of America is committed to promote the civic and civil rights interests of the Armenian American community. ACA also aims to strengthen U.S. – Armenia and U.S. – Artsakh ties, the development of programs promoting sustainable economic growth and good governance in Armenia, while promoting the values and responsibilities of global citizenship.