ANCA Calls On Clinton To Condemn Azerbaijan’s Fatal Attacks Into Armenia
YEREVAN—Azeri soldiers violated the cease fire on Monday when they fired at positions in the direction of the Berdavan and Chinari villages in the Tavush region killing three Armenian soldiers, hours before US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Armenia.
The Armenian Defense Ministry released the names of the three soldiers—Hrach Sargsyan, Zohrab Balabekyan and Karen Davtyan—and offered condolences to the families.
The Defense Ministry called the incident “an act of sabotage” and announced that an investigation has been launched. A special investigative group of the Armenian Military Prosecutor’s Office and the Defense Ministry was dispatched to the site.
The Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia have the situation under control, said a Defense Ministry statement.
Armenian National Committee of America chairman Ken Hachikian sent an urgent letter to Secretary Clinton urging her to “clearly, publicly and unequivocally condemn this aggression.”
He also asked Clinton, more broadly “to stake out a strong American stand against Baku’s open threats and escalating acts of belligerence against both Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.”
“Azerbaijan’s aggression, on the very day of your arrival in the Caucasus, represents, in addition, of course, to a painful human tragedy for those young men who were killed and injured, a brazen attack upon the prospects for a fair and lasting peace in this region. It is long past time that the Obama Administration abandon its practice of artificial equivalence – a failed policy whose only response to Azerbaijani aggression and threats of renewed war has been to issue generically-formulated and transparently toothless calls on all parties to refrain from violence,” Hachikian told Clinton.
“It is in this spirit that we call upon you to forcefully criticize Azerbaijan’s aggression during your upcoming visit with President Ilham Aliyev in Baku. We ask, as well, that you give substance to our nation’s condemnation of Baku’s march toward war by suspending all proposed, pending, or future sales or transfers to Azerbaijan of military equipment and dual-use items (including the proposed sale of advanced helicopter-based surveillance equipment – DDTC 12-002). We also request that the Administration immediately enforce Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act, and decline to waive this provision of law until Azerbaijan has stopped its threats of war, ceased all acts of aggression, and demonstrated a commitment to a lasting peace with Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh through solely non-violent means,” urged Hachikian.