WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) along with Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Jackie Speier (CA-14), David Valadao (CA-21), and Adam Schiff (CA-28) sent a letter to President Biden requesting that he use his upcoming meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to address his regime’s direct military and economic support of Azerbaijani aggressions against Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia. President Biden is scheduled to meet with President Erdogan on June 14 during the NATO summit in Brussels.
“A clear statement must be sent to Erdogan and his ally, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, that the United States is imminently prepared to withhold security aid and implement targeted economic sanctions unless Azerbaijani forces are removed from Armenian territory and all remaining Armenian detainees and prisoners of war are released from Azerbaijani custody,” the lawmakers wrote. “Precedent shows that Erdogan and Aliyev will not halt their destabilizing actions and violations of international law until the United States takes significant action to hold them accountable. This was demonstrated when Azerbaijan launched an offensive attack against Artsakh last September with significant military assistance from Erdogan. The assault led to six weeks of devastating fighting with an estimated 5,000 people killed and over 100,000 ethnic Armenians forced to flee their homes in the region.”
Last September, Turkey actively aided Azerbaijan’s deadly invasion of Artsakh by providing mercenaries with alleged ties to international terrorist groups, advanced drones that utilize American technology, and heavy weaponry that was used to indiscriminately bomb civilian targets. Artsakh and Armenia continue to grapple with an ongoing humanitarian crisis that resulted from the invasion. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan continues to provocatively station troops in Armenian territory while falsely declaring the land as its own and illegally holding ethnic Armenian as detainees and prisoners of war in contravention of international human rights law.
A copy of the letter is available here.