ZURICH — Christian Solidarity International (CSI) is urging the United States to put its words into action and call the perpetrators of ethnic cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh to account.
In a letter to President Joe Biden dated November 13, CSI International President Dr. John Eibner says it is time for the U.S. to stand up for the Christian people of Armenia who are existentially threatened by the aggressive authoritarian regimes in Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Referencing President Biden’s Oval Office speech on October 20 pledging support to the endangered peoples of Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, Eibner reminds the president that the Armenian people, and specifically the 120,000 Armenian Christians of Nagorno Karabakh, are still waiting for “constructive American action to stop an ongoing process of genocide” against them.
Last September, Azerbaijan, openly supported by Turkey, finally achieved its goal of ethnically and religiously cleansing the Caucasus region of Nagorno Karabakh of its Armenian Christian population following a nine-month blockade. “In doing so, Azerbaijan and Turkey reached another milestone in the historic process of the Armenian Genocide,” writes Eibner.
CSI’s international president recalls that, speaking on behalf of the administration only five days before Azerbaijan’s military assault, Acting Assistant Secretary of State Yuri Kim informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: “The United States will not countenance any action or effort—short-term or long-term—to ethnically cleanse or commit other atrocities against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Yet this is exactly what has happened, says Eibner. “Your administration did not act in defense of the fundamental human rights of the people of Nagorno Karabakh. Instead, it sacrificed them as valueless expendables in the context of the United States’ geopolitical power struggle for ascendancy in the South Caucasus.”
In her Congressional testimony, Kim identified the powers whose influence the Biden administration is dedicated to combat: Russia, China and Iran. But she failed to mention Azerbaijan and Turkey – the neo-Ottoman political, military, and economic constellation behind the ethnic/religious cleansing in Nagorno Karabakh.
Having met with no challenge from the U.S., Azerbaijan and Turkey have now fixed their sights on the Republic of Armenia, whose people are increasingly anxious about their own future, states Eibner.
“A reorientation of American policy to combat the malign influence of Azerbaijan and Turkey is overdue. But it is not too late,” he writes, and urges the U.S. to action.
The required action includes pressing for a UN Security Council Resolution calling for the establishment of a secure environment in which refugees and displaced persons can return to Nagorno Karabakh in safety, the international civil presence can operate, a transitional administration can be established, and humanitarian aid can be delivered.
The U.S. must simultaneously impose severe sanctions against the architects and other enablers of Azerbaijan’s religious/ethnic cleansing of Nagorno Karabakh; call for the suspension of Azerbaijan’s membership of NATO’s “Partnership for Peace Program”; and halt all US military aid to Azerbaijan.
The U.S. has the capacity to prevent further genocide in the region, Eibner concludes. “All that is required is the will on your part to lead. The power and prestige of the United States as an upholder of a rules-based world order, anchored in the UN Charter and the international human rights instruments, will be enhanced by such a display of leadership.”
Christian Solidarity International is an international human rights group campaigning for religious liberty and human dignity.
Christian Solidarity International