The California Legislative Jewish Caucus on Friday sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him “to engage in diplomatic efforts to end the fighting and help bring peace to the region.” The lawmakers also express concerned about Azerbaijani aggression and Turkey’s involvement in the conflict.
“In recent days, Azerbaijan’s attack on the Nagorno-Karabakh region has resulted in significant casualties, displacement, and damage. Comments by Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev suggest this recent offensive is part of a planned military effort to realign power in the region, raising fears of sustained escalation and greater bloodshed. We fear that the increased violence will lead to a wider conflict with Armenia and regional instability,” said the legislative caucus.
“Turkey’s involvement in the conflict is also of grave concern, given President Erdogan’s expressed expansionist interests and his ongoing conflict with Armenia. There are credible reports that Turkey has facilitated the movement of jihadi terrorists to the region to fight against Armenia. If true, this would certainly be conduct unbecoming a NATO ally,” said the lawmakers.
“The members of our Caucus represent some of the largest Armenian and Jewish diaspora communities in the world. Our two communities share a common bond of being constantly persecuted and of the experience of being formerly-stateless ethnic minorities. Jews and Armenians have formed close and supportive relationships, both within the United States and abroad. The California Legislative Jewish Caucus stands with the Armenian people in this dark hour,” the legislators said.
“The Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict is only getting worse. We urge you to act immediately to de-escalate tensions and end the fighting,” urged the lawmakers.
The letter was signed by State Senator Ben Allen, the chair of the caucus, as well as Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg and senators Henry Stern, Steven Glazer, Susan Rubio and Scott Weiner. California State Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, the co-chair of the caucus, was joined by fellow Assemblymembers Laura Friedman, Jose Medina, Blanca Rubio, Richard Bloom, Marc Levine and Adrin Nazarian in signing the letter.