WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has issued a statement calling for U.S. recognition of independent Republic of Artsakh.
Following is the text of the statement:
“Madam Speaker, I rise because for more than four weeks, Azerbaijan and Turkey have been waging war on Artsakh, bombarding civilians, churches, and committing possible war crimes. More than 800 soldiers have been killed repelling Azerbaijan’s attacks, and dozens of civilians are dead. Estimates are that more than half of the civilian population of Artsakh has been displaced, sleeping in cars or open fields away from falling bombs, as winter approaches.
“For decades, through the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States has supported a peaceful, democratic, and negotiated resolution to the dispute surrounding Nagorno Karabakh, or Artsakh. We have persisted in this policy even as Azerbaijan launched countless assaults and as their leadership frequently threatened war to redraw the line of contact by force, and as they rejected monitoring along the line of contact.
“Today, it appears that Azerbaijan and Turkey are determined to make good on their threats. With bombs, and drones, and Syrian mercenaries, Turkey and Azerbaijan are pushing ahead with a war that has no end in sight. The Armenian people are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the genocide perpetrated a century ago by the Ottoman Empire, and the words and deeds of Erdogan and Aliyev today call to mind the crimes of one hundred years ago.
“We cannot allow history to repeat itself. If Azerbaijan and Turkey have determined to wage war, the United States, the Minsk Group, and the International Community should make clear that they will not succeed in their aims.
“And that if they persist in this violence, we must recognize the Republic of Artsakh as an independent nation. Doing so would send the strongest possible message that we will not allow border disputes to be settled by the indiscriminate and devastating use of force against civilian populations.
“Aliyev and Erdogan must be made to understand that if they continue with this war, there will be consequences. The United States will not stand idly by.”