April 12, 2016
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elen Asatryan
tel. (818) 500-1918

Armenian Community Calls on Kerry to Condemn Azerbaijani Attacks

Contact:  Elen Asatryan | Cell:  818.523.8389 Office: 818.500.1919

Email:  elen@ancawr.org

Armenian-American community leaders of Southern California call on of Secretary of State John Kerry to utilize his April 12 visit to Los Angeles to forcefully condemn Azerbaijan’s April 2nd massive military attack on the independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and to launch official investigations into atrocities committed against Armenian civilians and confirmed reports of Azerbaijani war crimes, including the mutilation and beheading of corpses and torture of captured and killed soldiers and civilians.

The Kerry Connection:  Azerbaijan’s attack, which resulted in scores of deaths, came just days after Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev met in Washington, DC with Secretary Kerry and, separately with Vice President Joe Biden.  During these meetings, and in the years leading up to this attack, the Obama Administration has consistently failed to confront President Aliyev’s regional aggression, to impose economic sanctions on his regime, or to halt the flow of U.S. military aid to his armed forces.

A Diplomatic Failure:  The Obama Administration’s diplomatic failure to confront Aliyev has emboldened his increasingly authoritarian Azerbaijan, effectively “green-lighting” his march toward war, confident that the international community will not stand in his way.

An Intelligence Breakdown:  The Obama Administration must address the failure of the U.S. intelligence community to warn Secretary Kerry and Vice President Biden that they were meeting with President Aliyev as he was preparing to launch the largest military attack since the 1994 Nagorno Karabakh cease-fire. Aliyev launched his attack along the entire Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan only hours after leaving U.S.airspace.

The U.S. Response:  The Armenian-American community calls on Secretary Kerry to challenge Azerbaijan’s aggression, and take targeted action to promote peace, avert war, and lay the groundwork for a negotiated settlement:

— U.S. recognition of the independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh

— The suspension of all U.S.military aid to Azerbaijan

— A “Leahy Law” investigation of Azerbaijani war crimes

— U.S. funding for the deployment of gunfire locators along the line-of-contact.

— Emergency U.S. relief and reconstruction aid to Nagorno Karabakh

— A U.S. fact-finding and needs assessment mission to Nagorno Karabakh

A community-wide Candlelight Vigil hosted by the Los Angeles City Council will be heldtonight at Los Angeles CityHall Park at 6:00 pm for all the victims of Azerbaijani President Ilham’s Aliyev’s aggression.

The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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