Washington, D.C. – Today, the Armenian Assembly of America praised Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who spearheaded a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for the suspension of aid to Azerbaijan and Turkey.
“We commend Senator Menendez and his colleagues for urging greater U.S. engagement at the highest levels and to suspend all U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan and to suspend all sales and transfers of military equipment to Turkey,” said Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “The United States, the UN Security Council, the EU, the Organization of American States, German Chancellor Merkel and French President Macron, and others have urged an immediate cessation of hostilities, but Azerbaijani President Aliyev and Turkish President Erdogan continue their campaign against the Armenian people,” Ardouny continued. “Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act must be fully enforced at a minimum. We call on the Administration to take decisive action. Lives are at stake.”
“Given the possibility that this conflict could engulf the region and draw in other external actors, it is imperative that the U.S. use its diplomatic leverage to bring about an immediate cease fire,” the letter stated.
Signed by Senator Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), along with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), the letter also stated in part that Turkey’s “unconditional support for Azerbaijan’s action is a significant escalation and yet another disturbing example of Turkey’s aggressive behavior beyond its borders.”
The letter urged the Secretary of State to: 1) “Reinvigorate the Minsk Group” and offer to host a meeting akin to the 2001 Key West peace talks, 2) Immediately “suspend all security assistance to Azerbaijan” citing its aggression and human rights record; and 3) “Convince Turkey to immediately disengage” or “immediately suspend all sales and transfers of military equipment to Ankara;” and 4) Using the power of the Secretary’s office “bring about a peaceful resolution to this terrible violence and get the parties back to the table as soon as possible.”
Established 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(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.