ANCA Presses Top State Dept. Officials on Azeri Attacks on Karabakh
WASHINGTON–Senior representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America consulted at the State Department Tuesday with Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, head of the Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and others, to discuss urgent Armenian American calls for U.S. leadership in response to Azerbaijan’s major offensive targeting civilians and soldiers in Nagorno Karabakh.
“We have, since April 2nd, actively engaged with senior Administration officials and leading legislators to press for a principled American response to Azerbaijan’s reckless attack against Artsakh,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We will, in the hours and days to come, continue to make sure that the Armenian American voice is heard – and respected – in the halls of power here in our nation’s capital.”
Among the high priority issues shared by the ANCA – which was represented by Executive Director Aram Hamparian, Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian, and Legislative Affairs Director Raffi Karakashian – were the following:
— Vice President Biden’s and Secretary Kerry’s meetings with in Washington with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev represented a missed opportunity to press for peace (such as ending Baku’s obstruction of the Royce-Engel proposals) that, ultimately – through official U.S. silence on his regional aggression and domestic repression – served to embolden Aliyev, effectively serving as a green-light for him to continue and escalate his aggression.
— The Administration knows very well (via Aliyev’s own words, the facts on the ground, his rejection of monitoring measures, and our own considerable U.S. intelligence capabilities) that Azerbaijan is initiating acts of aggression, yet persistently and counter-productively refuses to call Aliyev to account for reckless and fatal attacks that cause vast human suffering, destabilize the region, and raise the risk of a regional war.
— Armenian Americans, in the wake of the failure of the U.S. and the international community to challenge Aliyev’s latest assault, will – parallel to pro-peace initiative such as the Royce-Engel proposals – increasingly focus on global recognition of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh as a viable path toward peace.
The ANCA has activated Armenian Americans and other friends of Armenia in all 50 states, covering nearly every U.S. House district, in the days since Azerbaijan’s April 2nd attacks – the largest and most fatal since the 1994 Nagorno Karabakh cease-fire. These ANCA activists have targeted well over 30,000 messages to the White House, Members of Congress and to OSCE representatives. The ANCA has also strongly backed several Congressional letters backing the Royce-Engel peace initiative, the suspension of military aid to Baku, and the need for forceful U.S. condemnation of Azerbaijani aggression. These letters have been supported collectively by over 90 Members of Congress – representing over 53 million Americans.