Members of Congress Blast Azerbaijan and Turkey As Attack on Artsakh Expands to Armenia

September 29, 2020

Washington, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is reporting that a broad array of Members of Congress, from both the Senate and House, have issued statements condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey for their military offensive against the free and independent Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) – an attack which expanded to Armenia earlier today.

“The ANCA calls on the U.S. Congress to immediately take steps to cut all U.S. military aid to the Aliyev regime in Baku and enact broad and overwhelming military and economic sanctions on Turkey,” remarked ANCA Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “Aliyev’s Azerbaijan and Erdogan’s Turkey are the modern-day sick men of Eurasia – warmongering in the midst of a global COVID-19 pandemic,” added Hamparian.

“The fact is – not one U.S. Government dollar should be spent on Aliyev and Erdogan’s rabid and war-obsessed regimes in Baku and Ankara. American taxpayers must not be forced to subsidize Aliyev’s petro-dictatorship or support a NATO ally like Turkey using American warplanes to attack Armenia,” the ANCA Chairman emphasized.

In the first 48 hours after the attack, the ANCA and its supporters have sent over 100,000 letters to Capitol Hill and the White House calling for, among other key requests, the cutting of all U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan. On Tuesday, the ANCA issued a nationwide call alert to Congress – – urging them to 1) Withdraw Presidential Authority to Waive Section 907, 2) Stop All U.S. Military Aid to Azerbaijan, 3) Sanction NATO “ally” Turkey.

Below – please find a sample of the Congressional statements made criticizing Azerbaijan and Turkey for their attacks on Artsakh.

“I strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno Karabakh, yet another act of aggression supported by Turkey. The Trump Administration should suspend security assistance to Azerbaijan and engage through the OSCE Minsk Group to bring about a ceasefire.”
— U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“I stand with Armenia and the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey is emboldening Azerbaijan against Armenia with military aid & provocative statements that undermine mediation efforts. The US must support efforts to achieve peace in the region.”
— U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)

“Armenians have a right to defend themselves when attacked. I am deeply concerned about the escalation of heavy fighting between Azerbaijani forces and Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh. I urge restraint and steps to prevent further harm to civilians. President Trump must pursue an immediate cessation of hostilities and facilitate a peaceful settlement of the dispute. Additionally, all countries in the region should work to defuse this crisis and not seek to inflame tensions.”
— U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee

“In July, @SenatorMenendez & I called on the Trump Administration to suspend military assistance to Azerbaijan & I again encourage the administration to halt this assistance. Turkey is encouraging and enabling this violence in the region & must stop.”
— U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)


“I am deeply concerned and alarmed by the escalating violence and tragic loss of life in Nagorno-Karabakh. I call on leaders in Azerbaijan and Armenia to take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation, end hostilities, and refrain from seizing territory across the line of contact. Each country must renew its commitment to OSCE Minsk Group process. Dialogue, not violence, is the only way to bring a comprehensive and enduring peace to the region. In addition, the influence of external actors such as Turkey recklessly meddling in the conflict is troubling. The international community must remain committed to the peace process. As a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States should not tolerate Turkey disrupting the peace process and exacerbating a conflict already careening toward drastic escalation.”
— Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY)
U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman

“I condemn the Azeri attacks on Artsakh & call for an immediate end to the violence. Also, Turkey must halt all support & enabling of the Azeri offensive. The U.S. must work with our partners in the Minsk Group to develop a ceasefire that provides for lasting peace in the region.”
— Congressman Jason Crow (D-CO)

“Azerbaijan’s baseless attacks on the capital of Artsakh have already taken lives. This aggression proves yet again that the US must stop all military aid to Baku. We must stand in solidarity with the Armenian communities in Artsakh and condemn Azerbaijan’s hostility in the strongest possible terms.”
— Congressman T.J. Cox (D-CA)

“Azerbaijan has made it clear it does not respect the ceasefire agreement as it continues to choose violence over progress towards peace,” said Costa. “Azerbaijan has continued to fuel this fire by failing to recognize the sovereignty of the Republic of Artsakh, while Turkey has helped enable this aggression. I condemn the actions taken by Azerbaijan and stand ready to support the Armenian people. I call upon all parties to return to the negotiating table to reach a peaceful solution.”
— Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA)

“Azerbaijan’s unprovoked and ongoing attacks on Artsakh are reprehensible and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. These acts of aggression have already claimed lives and come just two months after violating its cease-fire with Armenia. The United States should suspend all military aid to Azerbaijan and work with the other members of the Minsk Group to restore peace and stability.”
— Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA)

“Early this morning, Azerbaijani armed forces launched an air-to-surface missile strike along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh, targeting peaceful settlements and residents, including the capital Stepanakert. This is a continuation of military aggression against the northern border of Armenia which started in July of 2020, when Azerbaijani authorities threatened to fine a rocket at the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant near Yerevan, Armenia. This morning’s attack once again shows Azerbaijan’s blatant disregard of international law. The recent actions of Turkey’s President and Defense Minister in referring to Azeri soldiers as martyrs, speaking in religious and nationalist terms about the support Ankara could give and warning Armenia not to “play with fire” are troublesome. I strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s aggression towards Armenians and its repeated escalation of hostilities against Nagorno Karabakh.”
— Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI)

“It is time for the U.S. to stop funding Azerbaijan’s violence against Armenians. Sunday’s early morning assault by Azerbaijan on the people of Nagorno Karabakh was just the latest instance this summer of unprovoked Azeri aggression which has now led to at least 30 deaths and over 100 injured. My heart breaks for the innocent people of Nagorno Karabakh who are being terrorized by these attacks, and especially for those who have lost loved ones. But the U.S. can do so much more than simply watch from the sidelines. We have a role to play in ending this conflict. “The U.S. must end security assistance to Azerbaijan until they agree to a cease-fire and commit to upholding it. Under this President, U.S. aid to Azerbaijan has increased from about $3 million in 2016-17 to about $100 million in 2018-19. This massive amount of funding has enabled Azerbaijan to free up other resources to attack Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, as we have seen repeatedly this summer. That is why, in addition to calling for a suspension of security assistance to Azerbaijan, I also included language in the FY2020 House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would enforce the Royce-Engel peace proposals, including the use of shot locators, an increase in international observers, and the non-deployment of snipers, heavy arms, and new weaponry along the line of contact. To my great disappointment, however, this language was removed by the Senate, and now we are seeing the consequences. Azerbaijan, with Turkey’s assistance, is able to both attack the people of Nagorno Karabakh and deny their own responsibility. This aggression cannot continue. The Royce-Engel proposals can save lives and moreover, can prevent Azerbaijan from denying their own responsibility in this conflict. That is why the U.S. should immediately put pressure on Azerbaijan to accept these proposals by withholding security assistance. And our State Department must step in to save lives by calling upon Azerbaijan to cease all offensive uses of force, and must also warn Turkey against sending arms or fighters to contribute to Azerbaijan’s aggression.”
— Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA)

“I stand in support of the people of Armenia in light of the recent disturbing acts of aggression taken by Azerbaijan along the Armenian border. This senseless violence puts the lives of innocent civilians at risk. De-escalatory steps must be taken to prevent further loss of life. I urge a dedication toward a diplomatic approach to prevent any further violence.”
— Congressman Tony Cardenas (D-CA)

“If reports that an Armenian fighter was shot down by Turkey are true, this is a dangerous escalation. The U.S. should do everything in our power to stop the violence. We must oppose aggressive measures in Nagorno-Karabakh and push for peace.”
— Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA)

“I condemn Azerbaijan’s reckless military attacks in the region. Azerbaijan should be held accountable for its aggressive actions which undermine peace. As Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the U.S. must take the lead in forging a ceasefire and preventing conflict before this dangerous situation escalates any further.”
— Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)

“It’s reported this morning Azerbaijan forces conducted assaults in Nagorno-Karabakh reigniting conflict. The developments are concerning as they threaten stability in the region. I urge a cessation of offensive operations endangering civilians & withdrawal of Azerbaijani forces.”
— Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI)

“I am deeply troubled by the outbreak in hostilities and the tragic loss of life in Nagorno-Karabakh. Concrete steps must be taken to de-escalate the situation & resume negotiations between Armenia & Azerbaijan. This conflict must be resolved through dialogue, not violence.”
— Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)

“I condemn Azerbaijan’s reckless military attacks against Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan must de-escalate the situation & restore the ceasefire. And most importantly, the US must work with Azerbaijan and Armenia to resume peace negotiations.”
— Congresswoman Susie Lee (D-NV)

“I strongly condemn Azerbaijan’s military attacks on Nagorno Karabakh. It is imperative that the Trump Administration halt military assistance to Azerbaijan and work through the OSCE Minsk group to get Baku back to the peace table.”
— Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)

“The Armenians have had that [Nagorno Karabakh] for a long time, going back thousands of years. Azerbaijanis have a claim to it, but as I think most people around here in this region know that Western Armenia is gone, it’s a part of Turkey now, so this is one of those small areas on the eastern side on the other side of Armenia that’s been at conflict now for many many years, but over the weekend it looks like the Turks, you know, a NATO ally no less, but it looks like they’re up to some shenanigans causing the Azerbaijanis and the Armenians into a conflict.”
— Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA), speaking on the Ray Appleton Radio Show
Ranking Republican, House Intelligence Committee

“For months, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have increased their use of combative rhetoric and provocative actions toward Artsakh and Armenia. The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues has consistently urged assertive action from the Department of State to deescalate this dangerous situation and hold the aggressors – Azerbaijan and Turkey – accountable for their destabilizing actions. The United States has an important role to play in stopping this violence, and we must act quickly and decisively to halt this belligerent display of aggression and hold the aggressors – Azerbaijan and Turkey – accountable for their destabilizing actions.”
— Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chair

“This weekend’s attacks on the border of Artsakh and Azerbaijan are a dangerous and tragic escalation. Aggression by Azerbaijan, and backed by Turkey, is unacceptable. Such action is counter to the shared interest of peace and security in the Caucuses. I urge the State Department to work with other members of the Minsk Group to immediately de-escalate the conflict and prevent further loss of life. The US must continue to work with our allies to ensure stability in the region.”
— Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-CA)

“Overnight, Azerbaijan launched the largest attack in years on Artsakh, and early reports suggest there have been significant casualties. The United States must urgently work with other members of the Minsk Group to restore peace and prevent any further escalation which will endanger more lives. This attack comes just months after a serious military exchange with Armenia along the international border. The aggression by Azerbaijan represents the failure of a policy of false equivalence that has looked the other way from Azerbaijan’s bellicose rhetoric and constant attacks. I have introduced legislation that would require U.S. intelligence agencies to assess who initiated this and other skirmishes, a necessary step to hold Azerbaijan accountable.”
— Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Chairman, House Intelligence Committee

“At this sacred time for my family and co-religionists, I’m troubled by the recent Azeri attacks on Artsakh. We must condemn this aggression and urge Baku to cease offensive military action and return to the peace table. We should halt military aid to Azerbaijan and urge Turkey to abstain from sending arms or fighters.”
— Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA)

“I condemn Azerbaijani attacks on Nagorno Karabakh and Turkey’s support for this aggression. The U.S. must lead diplomatic efforts through the OSCE Minsk Group and urge Turkey to stop sending arms and fighters to Azerbaijan.”
— Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV)

“The news of three consecutive days of Azerbaijani aggression in the Nagorno-Karabakh region is extremely troubling. Reports that Turkey is further fanning the flames of this conflict that has already killed dozens and wounded hundreds more is infuriating. The State Department must intervene in a serious way to save lives and put an immediate end to the violence.”
— Congresswoman Lori Trahan (D-MA)

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW Washington, DC 20036 | | @anca_dc
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