Armenian Caucus to ‘Redouble Efforts’ to Demand Accountability for Turkish and Azerbaijani War Crimes

Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs pledged to hold the Erdogan and Aliyev regimes accountable for atrocities against Armenian civilians, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs pledged to hold the Erdogan and Aliyev regimes accountable for atrocities against Armenian civilians, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs pledged to hold the Erdogan and Aliyev regimes accountable for atrocities against Armenian civilians, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

Sen. Ed Markey calls for expanded humanitarian aid for Armenia in response to Erdogan/Aliyev attacks

WASHINGTON—Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jackie Speier (D-CA), and Adam Schiff (D-CA) shared their frustration with the lack of U.S. leadership in response to Turkey and Azerbaijan’s attacks on Armenia and Artsakh and pledged to hold the Erdogan and Aliyev regimes accountable for atrocities against Armenian civilians, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

In a statement issued earlier today, Armenian Caucus leaders noted “we are deeply disappointed in the failure of the United States to play a productive role in avoiding this tragic outcome. Since the beginning of the Azeri offensive on September 27, 2020, we have called on the Administration to use all available resources to hold Turkey and Azerbaijan accountable. If the Administration had acted in a determined fashion to achieve a ceasefire and used levers like withholding military aid, reinstating Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and sanctions, thousands of lives could have been saved and a return to peaceful negotiation would have been possible.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Ed Markey (D-MA) remarked “It is a stain on this administration that they’ve allowed President Trump’s friend Erdogan to stage a land-grab in the South Caucasus and make a mockery of the OSCE Minsk process.”  He went on to note that the “United States must clearly condemn this illegal military campaign and end our security assistance to Azerbaijan and Turkey. We must also be prepared to provide the humanitarian assistance that will be so desperately needed by the Armenian people,” concluded Markey.

“We join with the bipartisan leadership of the Armenian Caucus and Senator Markey in our commitment to ensuring the support of the U.S. Congress and the incoming Biden Administration for Artsakh and Armenia, and also for holding Turkey and Azerbaijan accountable for their war crimes and atrocities against the Armenian people,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “This needs to start with immediate Global Magnitsky sanctions on Erdogan and Aliyev and – on the humanitarian front – with an initial $250,000,000 package of emergency relief, reconstruction and development assistance for Artsakh and the more than 100,000 Armenians forcibly displaced from their native lands.”

Over 100 U.S. Senators and House members issued statements and cosponsored legislation (H.Res.1165 / H.Res.1203) condemning the Azerbaijani and Turkish onslaught against the Artsakh and Armenia, with growing calls for U.S. recognition of the Artsakh Republic.  In the Senate, S.Res.754 and S.Res.755, call for a State Department accounting of human rights violations by Turkey’s Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s Aliyev regimes carried out both at home and abroad, which would serve as a basis for blocking U.S. arms sales and transfers to those countries.

The full text of the Congressional Armenian Caucus statement and Sen. Markey’s statement are provided below.

Armenian Congressional Caucus Statement on the Nagorno Karabakh Peace Deal

“As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, we offer our deepest condolences to the people of Armenia and Artsakh. They bravely defended their homeland against Azerbaijan and Turkish-backed foreign mercenaries, facing devastating drone attacks, and enduring atrocities committed by Azeri forces. We stand with Armenia and Artsakh and reaffirm our continued support for Armenia’s democratic government and Artsakh’s right to self-determination.

We are deeply disappointed in the failure of the United States to play a productive role in avoiding this tragic outcome. Since the beginning of the Azeri offensive on September 27, 2020, we have called on the Administration to use all available resources to hold Turkey and Azerbaijan accountable. If the Administration had acted in a determined fashion to achieve a ceasefire and used levers like withholding military aid, reinstating Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and sanctions, thousands of lives could have been saved and a return to peaceful negotiation would have been possible.

As we study the agreement announced yesterday, we will redouble our efforts to support Armenia and Artsakh against Azerbaijan and Turkey’s outrageous hostility and to hold all those who committed atrocities against civilians in recent weeks accountable. The United States must not continue to passively ignore the threat Turkey poses to the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, and the Caucuses.”

Statement by Senator Ed Markey on the Nagorno Karabakh Agreement

“It is a disgrace that the United States under Trump-Pompeo leadership has once again ceded an important foreign policy matter to Russia, this time to the detriment of our Armenian friends who have been targeted, attacked, and exploited by Turkey and Azerbaijan. It is a stain on this administration that they’ve allowed President Trump’s friend Erdogan to stage a land-grab in the South Caucasus and make a mockery of the OSCE Minsk process. My thoughts are with the Armenian people who have suffered relentless attacks throughout this campaign by Turkey and Azerbaijan, including the reported use of foreign fighters imported from Syria.

As I’ve said before, the United States must clearly condemn this illegal military campaign and end our security assistance to Azerbaijan and Turkey. We must also be prepared to provide the humanitarian assistance that will be so desperately needed by the Armenian people. It is also vitally important that we continue to support democratic institutions in Armenia as the country navigates this challenging time.”

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