Nagorno-Karabakh Peace Talks in Geneva Must End Foreign Military Intervention and Protect Civilians

 

Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan meet with OSCE Minsk Co-Chairs in Geneva, Switzerland

Washington, D.C. – Today the Armenian Assembly of America, the largest, non-partisan Armenian-American advocacy organization in the United States, urged the U.S. government to take a stand against further bloodshed through today’s planned ceasefire negotiations with the OSCE’s Minsk group in Geneva. 

“For weeks the Azerbaijani government and its Turkish backers have brutally attacked innocent civilians in the Nagorno Karabakh region, including a targeted attack on a civilian hospital earlier this week,” said Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the non-profit Armenian Assembly of America. “This round of ceasefire negotiations must bring an end to the bloodshed and ensure a return to the OSCE Minsk Group-led peace talks.

“Given that Aliyev is a previous recipient of the ‘Corrupt Person of the Year award’ from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), and given Azerbaijan’s failure to abide by the three previously agreed to ceasefires, we strongly encourage the establishment of an on-the-ground mechanism to monitor violations,” Ardouny continued.

“The United States must also take a stronger leadership role and act now before more innocent lives are lost,” Ardouny said. “We call on President Trump and Secretary Pompeo to exert full economic and diplomatic pressure to stand up to the Azeri and Turkish governments to keep these negotiations alive.

“Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act must be enforced to stop military assistance from being handed to a dictator who has made it clear that he will continue using it to commit human rights atrocities. And sanctions need to be applied to Turkey for its role, including the recruitment of jihadist mercenaries,” Ardouny concluded. 

Background

In response to Azerbaijan’s aggression against the Armenian people, Congress adopted Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which states: “United States assistance under this or any other Act (other than assistance under title V of this Act) may not be provided to the Government of Azerbaijan until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”

A national security waiver was agreed to after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Since 2018, the United States has sent over $100 million in security assistance to Azerbaijan, despite that government’s dismal record of human rights abuses. 

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.

For more information, contact: Mariam Khaloyan at mariam@aaainc.org

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NR# 2020-41

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