LOS ANGELES – For the past three weeks, the Armenian Council of America (ACA) and S.D. Hunchakian Gaidz Youth Organization (GYO) have held rallies in support of the recognition of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) at the US State Department Office of Foreign Missions in Los Angeles.
Community members, activists and students gathered at the busy intersection in front of the building holding US, Armenia and Artsakh flags and signs condemning war crimes committed by Azerbaijan and Turkey; The demonstrators urged the US government to recognize Artsakh as an independent state and place sanctions on the aggressors.
“Our consistent presence here in front of the State Department has raised a lot of awareness for the current conflict in Artsakh and we believe it is our responsibility and moral duty as American citizens of Armenian descent to demand justice and recognition from our government for the peaceful Armenians in Artsakh,” said GYO Co-Chair Alison Ghafari.
Krikor Moloyan, ACA Board Member expressed his sentiment about the US government’s stance on the conflict: “The current administration has not only increased military aid (our tax dollars) to Azerbaijan, which is being used to kill Armenians in Artsakh, it has failed to condemn the unprovoked aggression and the use of hired terrorists in the conflict.”
“We demand that the US and the international community recognize Artsakh, condemn Azerbaijan for repeatedly breaching cease-fire agreements, slaughtering civilians, and using illegal, internationally banned weaponry to commit war crimes.” said Natalie Sarafian, GYO Co-Chair. “Condemn Turkey for hiring terrorists to fight against Armenia, defend democracy, defend Artsakh, defend human rights and be on the right side of history.”
Since September 27, 2020, Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, utilizing terrorists from Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan, initiated a large-scale, unprovoked war against the Republic of Artsakh and the Republic of Armenia. Over the last days, Azerbaijani forces have intentionally been attacking civilians and civilian infrastructures, and they have heavily shelled Stepanakert, Shushi, and villages with cluster munitions and other weapons prohibited by international law.