LOS ANGELES- In response to the recent shelling of villages in Artsakh by Azerbaijan, Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian issued the following statement, urging the U.S. government to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its crimes:
“Twenty five years ago, the people of Artsakh heroically declared their independence from Azerbaijan. Their steadfast demand for freedom and self-determination in their historic homeland was met with vicious Azeri pogroms and a devastating war in the Caucasus region. Against all odds, these courageous people defeated the much larger and better armed Azerbaijani forces and established a free, independent and democratic Republic of Artsakh, following in the tradition of our own revolutionary founders of the United States of America.
“Since the ceasefire in 1994, Artsakh has flourished, despite constant threats and violent provocations by its bellicose neighbor, Azerbaijan, including repeated blatant violations of that ceasefire. This week, Azerbaijan utterly shredded the ceasefire with unprovoked full scale military attacks on the people of Artsakh, mere days after our own government emphasized to President Aliyev the importance of continuing to seek a permanent peace. Unless Azerbaijan immediately faces strong and meaningful consequences over its grotesque escalation of the conflict and its barbaric acts against civilians, there is little chance of resolving the conflict and avoiding further bloodshed.
“The immediate victims of inaction by the United States will be the people of Artsakh, who simply want to live peacefully and exercise their inalienable right of self-determination. Over the long term, the interests of the United States will also be harmed by instability in this vital region, and our government’s reputation in the international community will be irreparably damaged by its failure to stand up and speak out on behalf of the victims of this inexcusable violence. The United States and the rest of the international community must act immediately and forcefully to hold Azerbaijan accountable for this latest outrage.”