House Foreign Affairs Committee Questions Warlick in Wake of Escalation of Azerbaijani Attacks




WASHINGTON—U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) urged the Obama Administration to speed up implementation of Royce-Engel proposals for Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh) peace, during a classified briefing with Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Co-Chairman James Warlick held earlier today, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) demanding accountability for increased aggression, as Congress scrutinizes the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh) peace process.

Over a dozen U.S. House Members attended the closed-door briefing, organized by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In an official “read-out” from the meeting, Chairman Royce stated:

“Violence in the Nagorno-Karabagh region is at the highest point in decades. Just last month we heard reports of heavy weapon attacks and tank artillery fire—a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement. As Ambassador Warlick has said, this isn’t a ‘frozen conflict,’ but is a forgotten conflict—with a real risk of spinning out of control. That is why we need all snipers to be withdrawn, more international monitors to be deployed and gunfire locator systems to be put in place to increase transparency and accountability for each and every cross-boundary violation. Acts of aggression must be clearly condemned. The faster the administration can help put these in place, the quicker it can help put an end to the killing and avert war.”

ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian welcomed the Committee’s efforts to spotlight increasing Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh—and, in particular, the implementation of concrete steps to end the violence: “Chairman Royce is driving the U.S. agenda for a sustainable Nagorno-Karabagh peace, working, on a bipartisan basis, to press the Obama Administration over its failure to confront [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev’s aggression and demanding decisive steps to implement the life-saving Royce-Engel proposals to avert the renewed outbreak of war.”

The special briefing comes in the wake of an Oct. 26. 2015, Congressional letter addressed to Ambassador Warlick, initiated by Royce and Ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and cosigned by more than 80 of their House colleagues, outlining three concrete steps to address escalating Karabagh violence: the removal of snipers, an increase in OSCE monitors, and the deployment of a gunfire locator system. Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh have both expressed support for these life-saving initiatives; Azerbaijan has not. The text and list of signatories of the Royce-Engel letter is available at:

Royce first announced the Committee’s intention to host a briefing with Ambassador Warlick at the Capitol Hill celebration of Nagorno-Karabagh’s commitment to peace, held on Dec. 9, 2015, in conjunction with the nationwide “ANCA Fly-In for #NKPeace” advocacy campaign.

The ANCA welcomes Chairman Ed Royce’s readout from the classified briefing with Ambassador James Warlick regarding the Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh) peace process.

“Why are the snipers not pulled back? […] Why have we not deployed those special [gun fire] direction finders?” asked Royce at the Capitol Hill event, citing reports of unprecedented Azerbaijani tank fired shelling and high-powered rifle fire, which claimed the life of 24-year-old Garik Gurgen Avanesyan earlier that day.

Royce concluded his remarks, noting, “I retain hope that one day the people of Nagorno-Karabagh will be able to live in peace, enjoying security and a flourishing trade with its neighbors in the region, and I give thanks to those of you here who are committed to that peace and who are committed to stay engaged to see that that happens.”

Video of Royce’s remarks is available at:

In connection with its ongoing pro-Royce-Engel grassroots drive, the ANCA circulated among the Washington, DC foreign policy community a set of 10 suggested questions for Ambassador Warlick regarding U.S. policy on the Nagorno-Karabagh peace process. To review the questions, please visit:

An ANCA action alert provides an opportunity for concerned individuals to urge their U.S. legislators to press for the Obama Administration to implement the Royce-Engel proposals. The action alert is available at

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: House Foreign Affairs Committee Questions Warlick in Wake of Escalation of Azerbaijani Attacks

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