ANCA Calls for Probe of Potential Arms Export Breach Related to Downed Azeri Drone

YouTube video of wreckage shows “NovAtel” component built by a firm with U.S. Offices

WASHINGTON–The Armenian National Committee of America Wednesday called on the Department of State to look into whether video of the wreckage of an Azerbaijani  unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which shows a component built by NovAtel, a Canadian firm with offices in the United States, warrants an investigation into potential violations of U.S. arms export laws.

The UAV was reportedly shot down by Nagorno Karabakh defense forces on September 12th, after it crossed into the Republic’s airspace.

The full text of the ANCA letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is provided below.

Dear Secretary Clinton,

I am writing to formally request that the Department of State to look into whether any evidence in the recently publicly circulated video (see link below) of the wreckage of an Azerbaijani Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), that was reportedly shot down on September 12, 2011 while flying over the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, is sufficient to trigger an investigation regarding the potential violation of laws governing the sale and use of defense articles.

The video in question can be viewed via the following link, at the 1:37 minute mark: The name and logo of the firm Novatel is clearly visible on a piece of the downed UAV.  This firm, which is based in Canada, has an office in the United States, located in Houston, Texas.
As we have shared with you on several previous occasions, we remain profoundly concerned that President Ilham Aliyev and others leaders of Azerbaijan, while pursuing a multi-billion dollar arms build-up, are regularly threatening to use their growing military arsenal to restart their war of aggression against both Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia.  The Azerbaijani military, in fact, has, on many occasions, acted upon these threats in the form of cross-border attacks, often with deadly consequences.

It is in this light that we are especially troubled by the prospect that Azerbaijan’s military escalation, threats of violence, and actual aggression may be, directly or indirectly, fueled by U.S. defense articles, in violation of U.S. law and in a manner contrary to the American people’s commitment to a peaceful settlement of conflicts in the Caucasus and around the world.

I want to thank you for your attention to this urgent matter, and also to restate our desire to meet with you personally, as per your invitation of January of 2010, as part of a broad-based consultation with the leadership of the Armenian American community.

Kenneth V. Hachikian


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One Comment;

  1. John Markarian said:

    Many of Baku’s oil fields were owned and developed by Calouste Gulbenkian. The Azeri and Soviet governments illegally seized his property .His great grandson should file a lawsuit to against Azerbaijan and European companies such as British Petroleum, the Italian ENI and the French Total Oil companies that are co-developing the oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan. The ANCA and other Armenian organizations should e-mail the Gulbenkian Foundation and pressure them to file this lawsuit