For the second time this year, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) was invited to submit testimony to Congress on issues of concern to the Armenian-American community. This move drew the ire of Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the United States Elin Suleymanov, who expressed his “surprise” at the Armenian Assembly testimony and attempted to dispute Armenian-Americans’ right to set the record straight on Azerbaijan’s aggressive posture toward Armenians at a Congressional briefing held earlier this year entitled “Troubled Partner: Growing Authoritarianism in Azerbaijan.”
A new video released by the Assembly today showcases Ambassador Suleymanov’s reaction and highlights segments of the Assembly’s testimony, specifically Azerbaijan’s state-sponsored policy of cultural genocide as seen in the destruction of an ancient Armenian cemetery in Julfa, Nakhichevan; Azerbaijan’s plummeting human rights record and deteriorating press freedoms; and the repatriation, pardon and glorification of Azerbaijan soldier Ramil Safarov who brutally murdered Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan with an axe while the latter was sleeping at a NATO Partnership for Peace training course in Hungary in 2004.
“The government of Azerbaijan can shower American officials with lavish junkets to their country and launch fancy public relations gimmicks to try to turn American attention away from their petro-fueled authoritarian oligarchy,” stated Assembly Communications Director Taniel Koushakjian. “Fortunately, Americans, especially our elected officials in Congress, are much better informed,” he said.