WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) hosted a Capitol Hill briefing for Congressional offices today, featuring live reporting by two leading voices on the ground in Artsakh – Human Rights Defender Gegham Stepanyan and ANC Artsakh Director Gev Iskajyan.
Stepanyan and Iskajyan provided on-the-ground updates on the impact of Azerbaijan’s 150-day blockade and escalating campaign to complete the ethnic-cleansing of Artsakh. Both highlighted the urgency of the situation facing the citizens of Artsakh, most notably the young, elderly, and infirm, resulting from the lack of gas, food, and medicine. Speakers placed special focus on the recent placement of an illegal Azerbaijani checkpoint on the only road connecting Artsakh with Armenia, which has prevented the International Red Cross from delivering supplies or transporting critically-ill patients over the past several weeks.
ANCA Government Affairs Director Tereza Yerimyan provided a Washington, DC perspective on the crisis facing Artsakh, with a focus on specific legislative and other policy-driven solutions, urging passage of the Anti-Blockade resolution (H.Res. 108) and legislation supporting Artsakh recognition (H.Res.320). Yerimyan also urged action on the Armenian Genocide Education Act (H.R.2803 and S. 1329) as an important step toward preventing future genocides. The hour-long briefing ended with a question and answer session.
Participants included dozens of legislative offices, local ANCA chapter leaders, and a broad array of ANCA coalition partners. The top-line policy issues covered during the presentation included:
– Ending U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan
– Identifying Azerbaijan as the belligerent party
– Sending humanitarian assistance to Artsakh
– Holding Azerbaijan accountable for war crimes
The ANCA regularly connects Artsakh stakeholders with Congressional and decision-makers in the Washington, DC foreign policy community.