This week, Armenia celebrated 31 years of independence, but it also faced renewed attacks from neighboring Azerbaijan in a contested region. Armenians in the United States and politicians condemned the attacks, and called for steps to be taken against Azerbaijan.
The Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church wrote an editorial condemning both Azerbaijan and Turkey for their roles in the current conflict, and historic ones, including the Armenian Genocide. The Watertown-based Armenian Weekly ran a column about the geopolitics of the conflict, saying that it goes beyond Armenia and Azerbaijan, and how it relates to the situation in Ukraine and the Russian invasion.
Massachusetts Sen. Edward J. Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined several Senate colleagues in calling to prevent any U.S. security assistance from going to Azerbaijan until Armenia and Azerbaijan reach a permanent, lasting resolution to ensure peace and stability in Nagorno-Karabakh. In their letter, the Senators raise strong concerns that despite statutory limitations on U.S. security assistance to the country, Azerbaijan is benefitting from security assistance as it continues to attack Armenia and ethnic Armenians.
“In light of Azerbaijan’s recent and repeated acts of aggression toward Armenia, the United States should cease providing any security assistance to Azerbaijan until Armenia and Azerbaijan reach a permanent and lasting resolution that respects the will of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Senators wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. “This requires swift U.S. action to ensure we do not aid and abet Azerbaijan in sparking another large-scale conflagration. Azerbaijan must face the reality that there will never be a military solution that leads to peace and stability in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
Congresswoman Katherine Clark, whose district includes Watertown, released the following statement in response to Azerbaijan’s unprovoked escalation of violence against Armenia on Tuesday.
“Once again, Azerbaijan is threatening the sovereignty of Armenia and attacking its innocent people. Forty-nine lives have already been lost. Their renewed assault on Armenia is unprovoked, lethal, and directly undermines the peace process between these two nations,” Clark said. “We cannot sit on the sidelines. The State Department must help secure peace and end U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan.”
Caroline Colarusso, a Republican running against Clark in the 5th Massachusetts District, released the following statement on the attacks on Armenia.
“This week, Armenian-American voters in the 5th Congressional District have brought to my attention what is happening in Armenia. I strongly, unequivocally condemn recent unprovoked military assaults by Azerbaijan upon the people and territory of the Republic of Armenia,” Colarusso said. “If you’re a Christian in the U.S., you should be concerned. Acts of aggression have resulted in needless death, injuries, and destruction in Armenia. I call for an immediate end to U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan and their proxy, Turkey, and ask that the Biden administration, Secretary of State Blinken, and Congress immediately impose strict penalties, including economic sanctions, on Azerbaijan. It is long past due for the United States to put its foot down and stop supporting and enabling the repressive, corrupt, and aggressive regime in Baku and their Turkish patrons.”