Armenian Assembly Renews Call to Withdraw from Turkish and Azeri Caucuses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Congress returns next week to complete its
legislative business for 2016, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly)
renews its call for Members to withdraw from the Turkish and Azeri caucuses in
light of the increasingly authoritarian regimes there and pattern of behavior,
including Azerbaijan’s attacks against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh earlier
this year. The Azeri initiated military offensive which was supported by the
Turkish military took the lives of innocent civilians, including the gruesome
mutilation of an elderly Armenian couple as well as ISIS-like beheadings.

your prior reasons for standing in solidarity with the Turkish and Azeri
regimes, we cannot imagine that any American would continue to do so in the
face of recent events. To do so would condone such behavior,” stated Assembly
Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “As the country reflects on the
2016 election and takes stock, now too is the time to revisit our policies
vis-à-vis Turkey and Azerbaijan,” they continued.  “We, therefore, strongly urge Members of the
Turkish and Azeri caucuses to withdraw their support and speak out against such
heinous acts.”

During the
campaign, president-elect Trump stated that the Turkish government “looks like
they’re on the side of ISIS more or less based on the oil.” Turkish President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to push the boundaries while knowingly helping
himself instead of nations fighting ISIS and the thousands of innocent
civilians dying as a result.

The Turkish
Caucus has now lost 19 Members in the U.S. House of Representatives, including
former Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who resigned earlier this year
amid an ethics probe, as well as Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) who was defeated in
the Maryland democratic primary by Armenian Caucus Member Chris Van Hollen
(D-MD).  Van Hollen went on to win his
election to the U.S. Senate.

in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based
nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of
Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501©(3) tax-exempt
membership organization.

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