Massis Post – Americans for Artsakh (AFA) strongly condemns Azerbaijani ceasefire violations on the Line of Contact between the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Only this year the provocations resulted in the deaths of Artsakh Defense Army privates Aramayis Voskanyan (born in 1996, killed on January 9, 2016) and Simon Chavrshyan (born in 1996, killed on February 4, 2016), as well as Artsakh civilian Hakob Hambardzumyan (born in 1962, killed on February 11, 2016). The latter was shot by Azeri sniper while working in the field.
“Azerbaijan’s provocations on the Line of Contact with the use of artillery weapons of different calibers and snipers resulting in the killings is outrageous and must be immediately ceased. We offer our condolences to the families and friends of private Voskanyan, private Chavrshyan and Hakob Hambardzumyan,” Noel Thompson, Executive Director of AFA stated.
AFA calls upon the government of Azerbaijan to stop its aggressive policy and resume a constructive dialogue with the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. The organization’s position complies with the U.S. official position that the conflict must be resolved peacefully, and that the use of violence is counterproductive and dangerous for the entire region. AFA also calls on the Azerbaijani government to respect the ceasefire agreement it co-signed with Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia in 1994, as well as to embrace the principles outlined in the most recent peace proposal of U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce and Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel. The proposal was co-signed by 85 Members of Congress, and along with other measures includes the removal of snipers from the Line of Contact. Armenia and Artsakh have joined the international mediators in supporting those life-saving initiatives; Azerbaijan has rejected the proposal.
AFA also joins the call of Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel to the mediators to “publicly condemn specific acts of aggression”.