Caucus Co-Chairs Call for Comprehensive U.S. Strategy to Address Armenian Humanitarian needs; Hold Turkey and Azerbaijan Accountable for Aggression
WASHINGTON—Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) called the current ceasefire terms forced on Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan “untenable” and urged the Trump Administration to re-engage in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Process to pursue an Artsakh settlement based on the fundamental right to self-determination, reported the Armenian National Committee of America. Armenian Caucus leaders also called for U.S. humanitarian and de-mining assistance to ensure the safe return of Armenian civilians to their Artsakh homes.
“Join with the Congressional Armenian Caucus in calling on the Administration to urgently re-engage on Artsakh by visiting anca.org/OSCE,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Your letters will ask Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and your Members of Congress recognize Artsakh, provide large-scale humanitarian aid, and to hold Turkey and Azerbaijan accountable.”
In a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo, the Armenian Caucus leaders noted that “The United States cannot allow the situation in Nagorno Karabakh to be solely dictated and dominated by Turkey and Russia,” and urged the placement of international peacekeepers to monitor the ceasefire. The Congressional letter also advocated for Artsakh’s role in the ongoing peace process and international recognition of Artsakh’s right to self-determination. “Without this recognition, they [Artsakh Armenians] will continue to face the threat of displacement by Azeri and Turkish forces without any option for formal redress,” noted the Armenian Caucus leaders.
The Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs also urged the State Department to “reassess” U.S. policy on Turkey, noting: “We must learn from the failures of our appeasement policy toward Turkey and use every available diplomatic tool to penalize these bad actors for their aggressions and abhorrent human rights abuses.” Regarding Azerbaijan, Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders admonished the Administration for its inaction in the face of growing threats and armament build up by the Aliyev regime. “The United States could and should have used the threat of imposing sanctions or the threat to withhold aid – like ending the waiver of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and withholding any further military assistance through the Section 333 program – to deter Azerbaijan from escalating their threats of violence.”