Politics 20:07 22/02/2021 Region

Armenian Assembly of America welcomes bipartisan letter to US Administration in support of Armenia and Artsakh

The Armenian Assembly of America welcomed a bipartisan letter signed by 101 Members of Congress to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin highlighting key policy issues, including the pressing importance of addressing the “ongoing humanitarian crisis in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).”

As the Assembly said in a statement, ppearheaded by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. and the Armenian Caucus leadership, the letter emphasized that “our diplomats must insist that any future settlement supported by the United States will provide the people of Artsakh with the ability to reconstruct their communities and rebuild their lives without fear of further bloodshed. This should include significant US commitments to provide an urgently needed humanitarian aid and assistance package for the people of Artsakh.”

Noting that the “terms laid out in the current ceasefire are untenable for Artsakh’s long-term security and stability in the region,” the letter said in part that “more must be done to pursue an enduring settlement based on the fundamental right to self-determination,” and that the international community and the United States “has an important role to play by finally recognizing the right to self-determination for the people of Artsakh and their role as a legitimate negotiating party in resolving this conflict.”

The letter also expressed concern that “Azerbaijan also refuses to free dozens of Armenian prisoners of war and apprehended civilians” in violation of the ceasefire signed on November 10, 2020, as well as the need to hold “destabilizing actors accountable.”

In addition, the letter stated that “sanctions on high-ranking officials from [Turkey and Azerbaijan] and withholding aid, including ending the waiver of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act and ceasing further military assistance through the Section 333 Building Partner Capacity program,” would have helped halt last year’s deadly actions.

The letter concluded that “the United States should seek to strengthen our strategic relationship with Armenia” and that President Biden should follow in the footsteps of both the House and Senate and formally recognize the Armenian Genocide this April 24th.

“We commend Rep. Pallone and the Armenian Caucus leadership for this timely and important letter articulating key priorities and the significance of US assistance to help the Armenian people,” stated Mariam Khaloyan, Director of Congressional Relations. “We also remain deeply concerned that Azerbaijan continues its violent acts against Armenians and that prisoners of war and civilians are still held captive,” Khaloyan added.

Reflecting on the strong bipartisan support, Rep. Pallone stated: “I deeply appreciate the overwhelming bipartisan support we received for this letter. It shows how important these issues are to the U.S. Congress, especially in the aftermath of the unprovoked Azerbaijani and Turkish attacks on Artsakh last fall. The U.S. can and must do more to help the thousands of displaced families from Artsakh that fled to Armenia because of the war and to pressure the Azerbaijani government to release the dozens of prisoners of war it continues to hold.”

 


Source Panorama.am
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