ANCA Welcomes Congressional Statements Condemning Azerbaijani Aggression

Members of Congress who have expressed their condemnation of Azerbaijan
Members of Congress who have expressed their condemnation of Azerbaijan

Members of Congress who have expressed their condemnation of Azerbaijan

Senate and House Leaders Urge Immediate Implementation of Royce-Engel Peace Proposals

WASHINGTON – Against a backdrop of fresh Azerbaijani attacks that left three dead on Wednesday in the midst of a declared ceasefire, Congressional leaders stepped up condemnation of Aliyev’s major assault on Nagorno Karabakh this week, with calls for U.S. leadership in securing the immediate implementation of the Royce-Engel peace proposals, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

“We echo the principled Congressional calls for urgently needed U.S. leadership in condemning Azerbaijan’s aggression and holding to account its leader, Ilham Aliyev, for his reckless aggression against Artsakh, confirmed reports of war crimes committed by his forces, and his relentless domestic repression of his own citizens,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “We thank each of the legislators who have spoken out and will continue to work with our elected officials – on a bipartisan basis in both houses of Congress – to support efforts to condemn Azerbaijani attacks and constrain Ilham Aliyev’s aggression.”

Senate Appropriations Committee member Mark Kirk (R-IL) called Azerbaijan’s attacks “unacceptable and reckless” noting that “Baku’s warmongering has led to numerous Armenian deaths, both civilian and military, as well as significant Azerbaijani causalities. He went on to issue a call on President Obama and the State Department “to hold President Aliyev fully accountable for this violence, and to support the implementation of the pro-peace steps laid out by Reps. Royce and Engel that include an agreement from all sides not to deploy snipers along the Nagorno Karabakh line of contact, the placement of OSCE-monitored, advanced gunfire-location systems and sound-ranging equipment to determine the source of attacks along the line of contact, and the deployment of additional OSCE observers along the line of contact to better monitor cease-fire violations.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) agreed, noting, “The clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh risk escalating into a dangerous, wider war. The ceasefire must be scrupulously observed, while Azerbaijan needs to implement widely-supported peacekeeping measures along the line of contact, including a withdrawal of snipers and an expanded role for the OSCE.”

The ANCA has called on Chairman Nunes and Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA), who, separately, condemned the attacks early on, to join their counterparts leading the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to address concerns regarding potential intelligence failures associated with Azerbaijan’s April 2nd attacks.

Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) shared his “deep concern” regarding the Azerbaijani military offensive and noted that “The ceasefire previously agreed to by both parties should be honored to prevent this deadly conflict from escalating any further.”

Fellow Central Valley Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA) questioned President Aliyev’s commitment to peace, stating “Despite attending meetings in DC with Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden last week, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev does not appear committed to the peace process and I question his sincerity in trying to reach a resolution.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) echoed those concerns, noting, “The fact this military assault occurred immediately following the summit is deeply troubling and proves Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev is not committed to a peaceful resolution. The Azerbaijani government must be held accountable for these egregious acts, which are an affront to the people of Nagorno Karabakh exercising their right to self-determination.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee Member David Cicilline (D-RI) specifically called out Azerbaijan’s use of sniper fire, “which is in direct violation of the cease-fire agreement and international law, and am appalled by reports that Azerbaijan forces attacked a Red Cross envoy.”

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA) explained, “This escalation of violence risks engulfing the entire region into a long and bloody conflict. I am calling on Azerbaijan to abide by the ceasefire and end hostilities in Nagorno Karabakh.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) who has been outspoken in her condemnation of Azerbaijan’s earlier attacks against Armenians in Sumgait and Baku from 1988-1990, strongly condemned these latest attacks, stating, “I have called on the President to work with both sides in deescalating this conflict, and to suspend aid to Azerbaijan if they continue in their aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. Violence in response to a peaceful independence movement is unacceptable.”

Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Robert Dold (R-IL), House Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Senior Democrat Brad Sherman (D-CA) issued strong condemnations of Azerbaijan’s attack just hours after they began.

The ANCA has activated Armenian Americans and other friends of Armenia in all 50 states, covering nearly every U.S. House district, in the days since Azerbaijan’s April 2nd attacks – the largest and most fatal since the 1994 Nagorno Karabakh cease-fire. These ANCA activists have targeted well over 30,000 messages to the White House, Members of Congress and to OSCE representatives by visiting anca.org/stopaliyev. The ANCA has also strongly backed several Congressional letters supporting the Royce-Engel peace initiatives, which include the suspension of military aid to Baku, and the need for forceful U.S. condemnation of Azerbaijani aggression. These letters have been supported collectively by over 90 Members of Congress – representing over 53 million Americans.

The complete statements by all Members of Congress who have condemned Azerbaijan following the April 2nd attacks are provided below.

Congressional Statements Condemning Azerbaijan’s Attacks
(As of April 7, 2016)

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL): “It is unacceptable and reckless for Azerbaijan to blatantly violate its ceasefire agreement with Armenia and the Nagorno Karabakh Republic with a series of deliberate, offensive attacks last weekend. Baku’s warmongering has led to numerous Armenian deaths, both civilian and military, as well as significant Azerbaijani causalities. I strongly condemn Azerbaijan for instigating this violence against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, and urge Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to stop his aggressive military onslaught.

In addition, I call on President Obama and the State Department to hold President Aliyev fully accountable for this violence, and to support the implementation of the pro-peace steps laid out by Reps. Royce and Engel that include an agreement from all sides not to deploy snipers along the Nagorno Karabakh line of contact, the placement of OSCE-monitored, advanced gunfire-location systems and sound-ranging equipment to determine the source of attacks along the line of contact, and the deployment of additional OSCE observers along the line of contact to better monitor cease-fire violations.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA): “Since first speaking out for their right of self-determination in 1988, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh have been alternately besieged and attacked by Azerbaijan. Sadly, over the years, Azerbaijan has resisted efforts to de-escalate the conflict, and this weekend, it turned lethal. The loss of innocent civilian life, particularly reports of a 12-year-old killed in the Marduni region, is heartbreaking, and I hope a settlement can be reached quickly before more lives are lost. I have called on the President to work with both sides in deescalating this conflict, and to suspend aid to Azerbaijan if they continue in their aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. Violence in response to a peaceful independence movement is unacceptable. I condemn this action and stand with the Armenian people in their calls for actionable steps that will promote and ensure peace.”

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI): “I am deeply troubled by the resurgence of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and hope Armenia and Azerbaijan can find a resolution to restore peace. I strongly condemn the use of sniper attacks by the Azerbaijani government, which is in direct violation of the cease-fire agreement and international law, and am appalled by reports that Azerbaijan forces attacked a Red Cross envoy. This continued aggression will only bring unrest and risks jeopardizing a cease-fire agreement that was put in place over 20 years ago. As both Presidents Sarkisian and Aliyev prepare to travel to Russia, I hope Azerbaijan will agree to stop these attacks to defuse the escalating violence and prevent the further loss of life.”

Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA): “This latest breach of the ceasefire underscores Azerbaijan’s aversion to peace and stability, and I condemn the attacks against Nagorno Karabakh. Some 20 Armenian soldiers and five civilians have already lost their lives due to the senseless violence. Despite attending meetings in DC with Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden last week, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev does not appear committed to the peace process and I question his sincerity in trying to reach a resolution. It is my hope the United States continues to work with the Minsk Group until the Azerbaijan government reverses its pattern of escalating violence against the peaceful people of Nagorno Karabakh and recommits to upholding civil society and rule of law.”

Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL): “Once again we are reminded that Azerbaijan continues to say one thing and do the exact opposite. I join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in condemning the rhetoric and actions of President Aliyev. Rather than obscure the reality with allusions towards even-handedness, I hope that the Obama administration will continue to work with Nagorno-Karabakh and the OSCE Minsk Group to come to a peaceful resolution where Azerbaijan is held accountable for their actions.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA): “I strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s most recent aggression against Nagorno Karabakh. Its use of military force has displaced and wounded dozens of innocent Armenians, claiming the lives of 27 members of the Nagorno Karabakh defense forces.

I joined dozens of my Democratic and Republican colleagues in March 2016, calling on President Obama and his administration to work with the two parties in advance of last week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC to deescalate the ongoing situation. The fact this military assault occurred immediately following the summit is deeply troubling and proves Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev is not committed to a peaceful resolution. The Azerbaijani government must be held accountable for these egregious acts, which are an affront to the people of Nagorno Karabakh exercising their right to self-determination.

Azerbaijan’s hostility toward Nagorno Karabakh continues to threaten the safety of innocent civilians and harm the prospect of lasting peace in the region. We must ensure that Azerbaijan does not violate the ceasefire agreement. I will continue to work with my colleagues to provide humanitarian assistance in Nagorno Karabakh and demand the suspension of US military aid to Azerbaijan until its government fully agrees to end cross-border attacks.”

Rep. Devin Nunes(R-CA): “The clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh risk escalating into a dangerous, wider war. The ceasefire must be scrupulously observed, while Azerbaijan needs to implement widely-supported peacekeeping measures along the line of contact, including a withdrawal of snipers and an expanded role for the OSCE.”

Frank Pallone (D-NJ): “I strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s escalation of hostilities against Nagorno Karabakh, and I join the Obama Administration in urging an immediate de-escalation of the conflict. Azerbaijani President Aliyev’s threatening rhetoric has consistently alluded to doing away with the 1994 ceasefire and attacking the people of Nagorno Karabakh. President Aliyev continues to defy international calls to reach a negotiated settlement that will ensure a lasting peace in the region. It is unacceptable for Azerbaijan to continue on its current belligerent path, and I urge the Obama Administration and the OSCE Minsk Group to demand accountability on the part of Azerbaijan and continue to work toward implementing proposals that promote peace.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA): “I strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno Karabakh which has killed many Armenian soldiers and civilians. This escalation of violence risks engulfing the entire region into a long and bloody conflict. I am calling on Azerbaijan to abide by the ceasefire and end hostilities in Nagorno Karabakh.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA): “I am deeply disturbed by and condemn this terrible new escalation in Azerbaijan’s aggression against Nagorno Karabakh in the form of a significant military assault which killed 18 Armenian soldiers and at least one civilian — a young boy. That this attack comes just hours after Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev returned from meetings in Washington, D.C. with Vice President Biden and Secretary Kerry demonstrates that the policy of the United States and the Minsk Group is simply not working.”

“Until Azerbaijan faces strong and meaningful consequences over their policy of escalation and violence and its self-serving refusal to agree to international monitoring of the Line of Contact, there is little chance of resolving the conflict and avoiding further bloodshed. The true victims of this policy are the people of Artsakh who simply want to live free of sniper fire and mortar barrages and to exercise their right of self-determination.”

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA): “The Azerbaijani aggression we have seen over the last few days is deeply disappointing. There are a number of news reports indicating that more than 100 Armenians have been killed as a result. Chairman Royce and I urged that Azerbaijan use the opportunity provided by the Nuclear Security Summit to advance the peace process.”

“Instead, it appears that Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev launched new attacks against Nagorno-Karabakh. I strongly condemn this aggression and believe that U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan be cut off until it ceases its aggression, renounces violence, and commits to a purely peaceful resolution of the conflict.”

Rep. David Valadao (R-CA): “I share the deep concern of many of my constituents across the San Joaquin Valley regarding the recent military offensive launched against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan. The ceasefire previously agreed to by both parties should be honored to prevent this deadly conflict from escalating any further.”

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One Comment;

  1. jack said:

    How funny not a single MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSMEN we will remember

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