Letter to U.S. Representatives Thanking them for Cosponsoring H.Res.190
I am writing to thank you for spearheading the U.S.-Artsakh Travel and Communications Resolution, a pro-peace measure that – in the best tradition of American diplomacy – promotes direct dialogue between the United States and the Republic of Artsakh.
As you know, open dialogue represents the cornerstone of American diplomacy and the key to conflict resolution, in Artsakh and around the world. Sadly, successive U.S. administrations have allowed the Aliyev family of Azerbaijan to dictate the terms of American discourse with the stakeholders of the Artsakh peace process. For far too long, Baku has been granted an undeserved veto over direct U.S. dialogue with Artsakh, at the expense of U.S. interests and contrary to our core American commitment to understanding and peace among nations.
This resolution seeks to advance U.S. interests by removing artificial, outdated, and obsolete barriers to travel and communications between America and Artsakh, in support of our shared aims of peace, stability, and democratic development in the Caucasus region. The adoption of this resolution would also facilitate improved U.S. oversight of our aid program in Artsakh, while, more broadly, providing opportunities for U.S. policymakers to witness first-hand the progress of this proud republic and the challenges its people face as they seek a fair and lasting peace with Azerbaijan.
As our diplomats know so well, there is, very simply, no substitute for direct dialogue or on-the-ground presence. Self-imposed restrictions that impose gag-rules, travel bans, or diplomatic no-go zones upon our own officials are self-defeating, unwisely and unnecessarily handicapping U.S. foreign policy practitioners just when we need to be stepping up our global diplomatic leadership.
This is an area of urgent concern to my family and community and, as such, I thank you, once again, for your leadership and look forward to learning of your efforts to secure passage of this measure.
Letter to U.S. Representatives Thanking them for Cosponsoring H.Res.296
Thank you for joining Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), and over 100 of your colleagues as a co-sponsor of Armenian Genocide legislation (H.Res.296), which calls for the U.S. to properly commemorate this crime, to distance America from genocide denial, and to make sure that the lessons of this mass murder are used to prevent future atrocities.
As you may know, the Eisenhower Administration, in 1951, confirmed to the International Court of Justice that the Armenian Genocide constituted a clear case of genocide. President Reagan affirmed the Armenian Genocide in 1981 through Proclamation #4838 and for its part, the U.S. House of Representatives, through HJR148 in 1975 and HJR247 in 1984, has properly marked this genocidal crime.
Yet, over the better part of four decades, the U.S. government, fearful of Turkey’s threats, has resorted to evasive terminology and offensive euphemisms, compromising the truth and, with it, both our international standing on issues of human rights, religious freedom, and genocide prevention. That has to end.
No nation deserves a veto over U.S. policy – especially one as anti-American and undemocratic as today’s Turkey.
The facts are clear, as is our moral imperative: America should oppose genocide, in every instance, in every way. No exceptions. That is our legal obligation under the Genocide Convention and our ethical obligation as Americans.
American condemnation of this crime will hold great meaning for the descendants of all its victims, including millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Pontians, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites and other Christians, many of whom found safe haven here in the United States.
Thank you for your support and for sharing with me any further actions or votes you take on this matter.