A bipartisan group of over 40 U.S. Representatives joined the Congressional Armenian Caucus leadership in calling on the Biden Administration to take concrete action at the United Nations Security Council to “establish a mandate and peacekeeping mission” to protect Artsakh’s (Nagorno Karabakh) 120,000 Armenian Christians from Azerbaijan’s ongoing genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“We join with our allies in the Congressional Armenian Caucus in calling on President Biden – consistent with our American moral and legal obligations under the Genocide Convention – to lead efforts within the UN Security Council to establish a mandate to aid, administer, and protect at-risk Artsakh Armenians from Azerbaijan’s genocidal Aliyev regime;” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
In a powerfully worded letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, legislators condemned Azerbaijan’s genocidal blockade and assault on Artsakh’s civilian population. “The large-scale attack by Azerbaijani forces this week was the most egregious escalation of their genocidal campaign against Armenians to date. It was designed to subjugate a population that endured months of starvation at the hands of the Azerbaijani regime as President Aliyev repeatedly promised peace and de-escalation to the United States and other international actors.”
Legislators outlined concrete actions the United Nations can take to protect Artsakh’s Armenian population. “The United Nations must act swiftly to implement independent monitoring on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh and provide guaranteed protections to prevent the further bloodshed of innocent civilians and ensure the safety and security of Armenians in the region. The U.N. must also provide emergency humanitarian assistance, in coordination with USAID and other state actors, and work to keep the Lachin Corridor open for the transportation of humanitarian aid.”
The lawmakers also called on the Biden Administration to enforce Section 907 restrictions on U.S. military and security assistance to Azerbaijan and “impose sanctions against Azerbaijani officials to send a strong signal that our country will not tolerate political violence.”
Lawmakers concluded their letter, noting: “We firmly believe the United States and the international community have a responsibility to act and prevent a second Armenian Genocide, which we are currently seeing unfold before our eyes. This moment could be the final opportunity to save these people and prevent full-scale ethnic cleansing. Do not waste it.”
Joining Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) in cosigning the letter to the Biden Administration were Representatives: Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Joaquín Castro (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Jim Himes (D-CT), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), John Larson (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Susie Lee (D-NV), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Seth Magaziner (D-RI), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Grace Meng (D-NY), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Katie Porter (D-CA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Dina Titus (D-NV), Lori Trahan (D-MA), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
The Congressional letter comes on the eve of the September 21st United Nations Security Council session where Azerbaijan’s attacks on Artsakh are scheduled to be discussed.
Earlier today, the ANCA issued a nationwide action alert calling on the Biden Administration to advance seven key priorities at the UN Security Council meeting, many of which are reflecting in Congressional letter.
The ANCA’s seven policy recommendations are as follows:
1) Define sustainable Artsakh status & self-determination
2) Secure a U.N. mandate for Artsakh’s administration
3) Protect the security & safety of Artsakh’s population
4) Hold Azerbaijan accountable for genocide & war crimes via sanctions
5) Deliver humanitarian, development & reconstruction aid
6) Secure the safe return of displaced Artsakh Armenians
7) Ensure safe, unhindered passage to and from Armenia
Armenian Americans can contact President Biden, Vice-President Harris, key State Department officials, and their U.S. Senators and Representative to support strong U.S. action to condemn Azerbaijan’s genocide against Artsakh and support a protection mandate by visiting anca.org/alert.