Throughout this year, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) has taken steps to address a serious concern of the Armenian-American community: the ongoing threats against Armenians by Azerbaijan.
As Congress looks to approve U.S. foreign aid priorities this week, the Assembly visited over 125 Members of Congress and hand-delivered the new 2013 Assembly Press Kit outlining funding priorities for Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, including the Assembly’s new FACT SHEET on Azerbaijan.
Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Azerbaijan had once again violated the cease-fire agreement along the line of contact some 200 times. These relentless attacks on Armenian civilians, some targeting a kindergarten school, illustrates the growing hostility of the Aliyev regime, and coupled with its bellicose rhetoric, raises the specter of a new war in the South Caucasus.
On the heels of the cross border attacks, it was announced that Azerbaijan had begun receiving over $1 billion in new weapons and armaments from Russia.
Therefore, it was timely that a few days later, the Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) held a briefing entitled “Troubled Partner: Growing Authoritarianism in Azerbaijan.” There, the Assembly provided key testimony highlighting the litany of examples of Azerbaijan’s authoritarian regime, including but not limited to its suppression of basic freedoms, attacks on journalists, destruction of the centuries-old Armenian cemetery in Julfa, Nakhichevan, intransigence in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, interference in the Armenian-Turkish reconciliation process, and massive military expenditures totaling over $6 billion dollars for FY2011-FY2012
“The Assembly remains deeply troubled by Azerbaijan’s intransigence and ongoing threats against America’s ally Armenia,” stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.