Pallone Calls for New Approach to Peace Talks

* Warns of dangers to peace created by Turkish arms transfers to Azerbaijan

WASHINGTON–Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) has urged international mediators to adopt a new approach to the Karabakh peace talks by rejecting failed efforts to impose Azeri control over Karabakh and taking concrete steps to stem the destabilizing flow of Turkish arms to Azerbaijan–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

Rep. Pallone’s June 11 House floor statement follows his recent visit to Armenia and Karabakh with Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI).

In his remarks–he voiced serious concern over recent reports of Turkey’s delivery of NATO howitzer artillery and F-16 fighter aircraft to Azerbaijan. He added that he is "currently working with some of [his] colleagues in this body to determine the level of Turkish support for Azerbaijan’s military–and in putting pressure on Turkey to be a partner in the search for a lasting peace in the region – not a contributor to a continuing cycle of violence and tensions."

"We appreciate the attention that Rep. Pallone has brought to the destabilizing impact of Turkey’s ongoing arms transfers to Azerbaijan," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "We have consistently called for closer Congressional oversight of US military sales to Turkey and the illegal diversion of these weapons to Azerbaijan. As early as March of 1995–we testified in Congress against the transfer to Turkey of lethal weaponry or force-multipliers which could likely be used by the Turkish armed forces in Cyprus–against Kurdish civilians–or which will be transferred to Azerbaijan for use against Karabakh."

Please see Pallone’s testimony in the features section of the web site.

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