WASHINGTON, DC - Amid escalating Azerbaijani attacks this week against both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) circulated a set of seven specific policy recommendations for the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress to check Baku’s aggression and support the peaceful and democratic resolution of Azerbaijan’s conflicts with Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
In an ANCA memo sent this week to Congressional offices, ANCA Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian stressed that: “It’s time for America and the rest of the international community to take Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev at his word when he openly threatens to restart his war against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. The cost of appeasement - and the dangers of a renewed war - are far too high for us to either dismiss Aliyev’s threats or to ignore the hazard he represents to the region and beyond.”
Seven Policy Recommendations for a More Secure Caucasus:
The following seven steps by the Administration and Congress would help deter further Azerbaijani destabilization of the region, and support the peaceful and democratic resolution of regional conflicts:
— The Obama Administration should publicly, forcefully, and unequivocally condemn Azerbaijan’s acts of aggression and threats of renewed war.
— The Obama Administration should suspend all military aid to Azerbaijan, and stop the sale or transfer to Baku of any military equipment or dual-use items (including the proposed sale of advanced helicopter-based surveillance equipment - DDTC 12-002).
— The Obama Administration should fully enforce Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act until Baku has stopped its threats of war, ceased all acts of aggression, demonstrated a commitment to a lasting peace with Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh through solely non-violent means, and has accepted the OSCE Minsk Group’s call to pull back all snipers (a proposal already accepted by both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh).
— The U.S. House-Senate conference committee charged with reconciling the FY13 foreign aid bill should accept the House version’s allocation of at least $5 million in aid to Nagorno-arabakh.
— The Obama Administration should support the reinstatement of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh as a full participant in all peace talks, including the negotiations hosted by the OSCE Minsk Group.
— The Obama Administration should remove out-dated, counter-productive barriers to broad-based U.S.-Nagorno Karabakh governmental and civil society communication, exchanges, contacts, cooperation, and travel.
— The Obama Administration should insist that the Azerbaijani government end restrictions on U.S. Embassy officials and third-party experts visiting and investigating the medieval Armenian cemetery, in Djulfa, Azerbaijan, which was destroyed in December of 2005 in a videotaped act of systematic desecration by the Azerbaijani military.