The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors convened on Tuesday January 24th to discuss a motion calling for an end to the blockade of the Lachin corridor, the sole route that connects Artsakh with the rest of the world. The motion was spearheaded by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Lindsey Horvath as an urgent plea to the Chief Executive Office’s Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Branches to send a letter to President Biden demanding that the Administration take steps to bring an immediate end to Azerbaijan’s illegal blockade.
After 46 days of ongoing blockade, with the threat of famine and medical emergencies looming, the United States has failed to send aid to those in Artsakh or to sanction Azerbaijan. The motion’s proposal, along with stressing the increasing humanitarian crisis in Artsakh and the danger of inaction, calls for the President to:
Supervisors Barger and Horvath introduced the motion to the rest of the Board and to community members in attendance. “We must continue to condemn the attacks on Armenia, and stand in solidarity with the Armenian people. The facts are, the Azerbaijani government is purposely cutting off Artsakh, and trying to once again (commit) genocide,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. She emphasized the Board’s historical stance on Armenian issues – having sponsored multiple motions supporting Armenians in the past. Supervisor Lindsey Horvath added, “It’s sad that we have to keep speaking out on this issue … we know today, and every day, more must be done.”
Several representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA-WR) and other advocates of Armenian-American issues testified in support of the motion, offering information and requesting support from the five supervisors in passing the motion.
“Azerbaijan’s continuous aggression towards Artsakh demonstrates why remedial secession based on the principles of [extraterritorial] self-determination guaranteed by the United Nations Charter is an absolute necessity for the people of Artsakh,” said Ruben Karapetian, ANCA-WR Government Affairs Coordinator. “We cannot allow tyrants like Ilham Aliyev, by the threat of isolation and starvation, or worse, genocide, to uproot people from their ancestral homeland,”
The motion carried after all five members of the Board of Supervisors, including Supervisors Holly Mitchell, Hilda Solis, and Janice Hahn voted to pass the motion.
“The ANCA Western Region is grateful to Supervisors Barger and Horvath and their colleagues for their principled stand in leading this important motion calling for the Biden Administration to do more to protect and support the besieged Armenians of Artsakh and to hold the dictatorial regime of Azerbaijan accountable for its ongoing human rights violations and illegal blockade,” said ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the largest Armenian community outside Armenia, has consistently supported our issues and is a valuable voice in calling attention to all aspects of the Armenian Cause. We look forward to continuing our collaborative work and constructive relationship with the Board of Supervisors,” she added.