In response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh caused by Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the only transport route that connects Artsakh with the world via Armenia, California based community and political advocacy organizations send a letter urging President Biden to take immediate action.
In the letter co-signed by the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, the Asian-American National Committee, Assyrian American Association of Southern California, Inner City Struggle, Israeli American Civic Action Network, Jewish World Watch, and Muwekma Ohlone Tribe called on the Biden Administration to immediately halt all U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan, deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to the 120,000 civilians trapped in Artsakh, and sanction members of the Aliyev regime under the Global Magnitsky Act.
Below is the full text of the joint letter:
January 9, 2023
President Joseph Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20500
CC to: Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
CC to: NSC Chair Jake Sullivan
CC to: USAID Administrator Samantha Power
RE: Azerbaijan’s Blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and the Unfolding Humanitarian Crisis
Dear President Biden,
We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to immediately end military assistance to Azerbaijan and request that emergency U.S. humanitarian aid is allocated to the Armenian population of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), who have been deprived of desperately needed food, fuel, medicine, and other urgently needed supplies for the last 29 days. Since December 12, 2022, Azerbaijan has blockaded Artsakh by closing the Lachin Corridor, which is the only connection Artsakh has with the world via the Republic of Armenia.
The effect has been devastating for the region’s 120,000 Armenians, who have been left without access to the only route that provides Artsakh’s food, medical supplies, and transport, depriving more than 120,000 Armenians of their right to free movement and right to life.
For four days, Azerbaijan also cut off gas inflow to Artsakh, leaving families freezing, forcing schools and gas-operated bakeries to close, and preventing hospitals from conducting vital, life-saving operations.
The Aliyev Regime’s actions directly violate the November 9, 2020 tripartite ceasefire statement and a host of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the use of “starvation of civilians as a method of warfare” which is prohibited under the Geneva Conventions. We once again reiterate that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can only be resolved through multilateral diplomatic efforts led by the United States, the leader of the free world, and condemn Azerbaijan’s attempts to manufacture a humanitarian crisis to enforce its demands through coercion and intimidation.
Since the unprovoked military attack by Azerbaijan in 2020 against the indigenous Armenian people of Nagorno Karabakh, no direct U.S. humanitarian assistance has been provided to its Armenian population. Despite numerous calls for securing much-needed humanitarian assistance for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Administration has, to date, failed to provide adequate aid, which makes an emergency aid package for Nagorno-Karabakh all the more urgent.
We call upon President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, National Security Council Chairman Sullivan, and USAID Administrator Power to:
We look forward to your timely response.
Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
Nora Hovsepian, Board Chair
Asian-American National Committee
Tuan Nguyen, Executive Director
Assyrian American Association of Southern California
Peter Warda, President
Inner City Struggle
Henry Perez, Associate Director
Israeli American Civic Action Network
Dillon Hosier, CEO
Jewish World Watch
Serena Oberstein, Executive Director
Muwekma Ohlone Tribe
Charlene Nijmeh, Chairwoman