WASHINGTON—Students from the Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School have taken to heart the pro-peace Karabakh initiative, led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-NY), lending their voices to that of Congressional leaders who have pledged their support for an accountability-based approach to stop Azerbaijani aggression and save lives in the Caucasus region.
After participating in the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA’s ) national call-in days for Artsakh peace this week, school principal, Dr. Alina Dorian, challenged the students to take their civic action to the next level. That request was a welcome one for many 11th and 12th grade students who had seen, first hand, the devastation of Azerbaijani aggression and the effects on the civilian population – young and old – during their trip to Armenia and Artsakh in the Spring of 2015. The result is this video message to top U.S. Karabakh peace negotiator Ambassador James Warlick, echoing the words of the proposed Royce-Engle letter.
The Royce-Engel letter specifically calls for the U.S. and OSCE to abandon their failed policy of false parity in responding to acts of aggression, noting that: “The longstanding U.S. and OSCE practice of responding to each new attack with generic calls upon all parties to refrain from violence has failed to de-escalate the situation. Instead, this policy of artificial evenhandedness has dangerously increased tensions. There will be no peace absent responsibility.”
The letter outlines three concrete pro-peace steps that would, “in the short-term, save lives and help to avert war. Over the longer term,” the letter notes, “these steps could contribute to a comprehensive and enduring peace for all the citizens of the region:”
— An agreement from all sides not to deploy snipers along the line of contact.
–The placement of OSCE-monitored, advanced gunfire-locator systems and sound-ranging equipment to determine the source of attacks along the line of contact.
— The deployment of additional OSCE observers along the line of contact to better monitor cease-fire violations.
Ambassador James Warlick has voiced the Obama Administration’s support for common-sense measures, as have Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan has not.
Grassroots efforts continue to expand Congressional support for the Royce-Engel letter, which currently has over 80 cosigners. TAKE ACTION!