WASHINGTON, DC – This week, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, participated in a full Committee hearing – chaired by U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen – to consider the nominations of The Honorable Nisha Desai to be Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation; Mr. Edgard D. Kagan to be Ambassador to Malaysia; Mr. Mark W. Libby to be Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan; Mr. Joel Ehrendreich to be Ambassador to the Republic of Palau; and The Honorable Cynthia Kierscht to be Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti.
During the hearing, Chairman Menendez voiced his concerns over the rights and security for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh in the ongoing peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“I am deeply concerned by the ongoing blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, which severely limits the basic goods and aid entering the region,” said Chairman Menendez to Mr. Libby. “Azerbaijan’s more than 180 day blockade has threatened famine for the local Armenian population, causing rationing, resulting in pharmacies running out of medicine.”
“People are dying. I urge you to engage with the State Department in a more forceful, forthright response,” continued Chairman Menendez to Mr. Libby. “You’re going – if confirmed – to a challenging post. But the fact that it’s challenging doesn’t mean that the United States should not be speaking out for the basic human rights and principles that we observe globally.”