The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) ramped up pressure on the Biden Administration and Congress this week, issuing a nationwide call to action in support of a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding Azerbaijan lift its genocidal blockade of Artsakh’s indigenous Christian population.
Over 200,000 letters from pro-Artsakh advocates have already reached President Biden, Vice-President Harris, and U.S. Senate and House members, calling for immediate steps to “avert an impending genocide in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) caused by Azerbaijan’s 250+ day blockade of the Lachin Corridor – the only humanitarian lifeline linking Artsakh to Armenia.”
Specifically, Armenian Americans and their allies are urging the U.S. to:
— Lead a United Nations Security Council Resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh, and calling for the immediate reopening of the Lachin Corridor consistent with the binding provisional order issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
— Suspend any new, current, or pending U.S. military or security assistance to Azerbaijan, and fully enforce Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act;
— Provide emergency U.S. humanitarian assistance to the Armenian victims of Azerbaijani aggression in Nagorno Karabakh, including by means of a humanitarian airlift;
— Apply statutory sanctions against Azerbaijani officials responsible for the genocidal blockade of Nagorno Karabakh.
Pro-Artsakh advocates can take action by visiting anca.org/UN
Last week, on the eve of the United Nations Security Council discussion of the humanitarian impact of Azerbaijan’s over 250-day blockade of Artsakh, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA) appealed to United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, urging her to introduce a UN resolution calling for an immediate end to Azerbaijan’s eight-month blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, including allowing unfettered humanitarian access to Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In their August 15th letter, Senators Menendez and Padilla asked Amb. Thomas-Greenfield, who is currently serving as President of the UN Security Council, to “work with all UNSC members to pressure the Azerbaijani government to lift the blockade and prevent what the evidence suggests is a coordinated effort to ethnically cleanse the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
In an August 14 letter to President Biden, Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) urged the US to lead a UN Security Council resolution calling on Azerbaijan to immediately comply with the orders of the International Court of Justice as well as an independent report on the human rights and humanitarian situation. “Though the U.S. government, the European Union, UN experts, and Russia have condemned the blockade and called for the corridor to be opened to regular traffic, Azerbaijan has ignored such statements for months. The U.S. Department of State and USAID have tried to use diplomacy to put an end to Aliyev’s blockade of the Lachin Corridor, but the time for statements and such calls has clearly long passed. The United States must take concrete actions and immediately use other tools to press Azerbaijan to return to compliance with international law and order.” wrote Rep. Schiff.
On August 22nd, Rep. Schiff issued a video appeal calling on the US government to lead a UN Security Council resolution and to enforce Section 907 restrictions on US military aid to Azerbaijan.
Fellow Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone(D-NJ), and Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), RajaKrishnamoorthi (D-IL), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Katie Porter(D-CA), and Dina Titus (D-NV) also went on the record calling for US leadership to lift Azerbaijan’s Artsakh blockade. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) condemned Azerbaijan’s “genocide against Christian Armenians” in multiple social media statements regarding the Artsakh blockade.