Supporters of Artsakh Peace Can Visit www.anca.org/madrid to Contact their Legislators
WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has launched a renewed drive to educate U.S. legislators and senior policymakers regarding the dangers that the proposed “Madrid Principles” present to international efforts to check Azerbaijani aggression and peacefully negotiate a sustainable and democratic resolution of status and security issues related to the independent Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
“The peace we all seek, if it is to be sustainable, must rest upon democratic foundations – the right of all to live in liberty, free from foreign rule,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “And today, more than ever, it’s clear that reaching a real and lasting resolution requires that the OSCE abandon its deeply flawed Madrid Principles and rethink its approach to this peace process based upon the universal value of democratic self-determination, our shared commitment to fundamental human rights, and the right of the citizens of Artsakh to security against foreign aggression.”
First discussed in 2007 with the specifics largely kept secret until recently, the “Madrid Principles” set forth a proposed formula which purportedly calls for Artsakh’s up-front surrender of 7 regions of its sovereign territory in return for only a vague promise that Azerbaijan will allow a future “expression of will” that would determine its status, setting the stage for continued conflict and increased regional instability. “A phased agreement that envisions Azerbaijan honoring its future commitments is simply not a sound basis for peace, particularly when we consider that Baku’s track record of constantly and flagrantly violating its own signature on the cease-fire agreement it signed in 1994,” explains the letter to Congressional leaders.
The letter goes on to urge legislators to support a range of policy priorities for Karabakh peace and freedom, including:
— Supporting a Balanced and Sustainable Approach to Peace: The OSCE should come back with a more balanced and sustainable approach than the deeply flawed Madrid Principles, which are little more than a recklessly asymmetrical attempt to force Nagorno-Karabakh to make strategic security concessions in return for only vague Azerbaijani promises regarding its future status.
— Saving Lives and Averting Renewed War: The Obama Administration should openly pressure Azerbaijan to accept the Royce-Engel peace proposals (which have already agreed to by both Armenia and Artsakh), to 1) withdraw all snipers and heavy arms, 2) add international observers, and 3) deploy gunfire locators along the line of contact.
— Challenging Azerbaijan’s Aggression: The United States and the OSCE should openly challenge Azerbaijan’s aggression, ending a pattern of silence in the face of aggression that has only emboldened Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
— Returning Karabakh to the peace talks: The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic should be restored to the negotiating table as a full participant in all OSCE talks regarding its future security and status. The exclusion of Artsakh from talks about its own future is both highly immoral and ultimately counterproductive.
— Continuing aid to Nagorno-Karabakh: The United States should increase direct aid to Nagorno-Karabakh, providing at least $5 million annually for a humanitarian assistance program (including rehabilitation programs for children and adults with disabilities) that has been in place since 1998.
— Cutting military aid to Azerbaijan: Congress should cut off all military aid to Azerbaijan until it ceases all threats and acts of aggression and commits to a peaceful resolution, and the Administration should cease issuing waivers of the Section 907 restriction on direct aid to the Azerbaijani government.
Supporters of a peaceful and democratic Artsakh can visit anca.org/madrid to contact their legislators and share with them the dangers of the “Madrid Principles.”