October 3, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel. (202) 775-1918

Rep. Speier Introduces Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Azerbaijani Aggression, Slamming Turkey’s Escalation of Attacks on Artsakh and Armenia

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) joined with her Armenian Caucus colleagues in introducing a strongly worded resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s unprovoked attack on Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) and denouncing Turkey’s participation in and escalation of this offensive, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Co-authors of the resolution, H.Res.1165, include Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). Among the original cosponsors were Representatives Tony Cardenas (D-CA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Gil Cisneros (D-CA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Costa (D-CA), TJ Cox (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Andy Levin (D-MI), Ted Lieu (D-CA), James McGovern (D-MA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Harley Rouda (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Janet Schakowsky (D-IL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).

“This legislation, H.Res.1165, reflects and also reinforces the broad, bipartisan Congressional condemnation of Azerbaijan’s attack against Artsakh, along the Armenian border, and deep into civilian population centers across both republics,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Congress is taking the lead, but the Administration remains missing in action – failing to either confront Baku’s reckless aggression or deter Turkey’s relentless interference.”

The text of the resolution, as introduced, is available below.

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RESOLUTION

H.Res.1165

Condemning Azerbaijan’s coordinated offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh and denouncing Turkish interference in the conflict.

Whereas, beginning on September 27, 2020 Azerbaijan has engaged in the most significant military operation along the line of contact with Nagorno-Karabakh since the signing of the cease-fire agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1994;

Whereas, this attack follows increasingly aggressive rhetoric and destabilizing actions on the part of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev’s government towards Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, including a July 2020 Defense Ministry threat to bomb Armenia’s Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant;

Whereas, Azerbaijan’s ongoing military offensive, which includes the shelling of Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh’s most densely populated city with a population of 55,200, has resulted in at least dozens of civilians killed and hundreds wounded and as of September 30, 2020 the threat to civilians continues;

Whereas, as of September 30, 2020 the conflict has resulted in the deaths of at least 84 NagornoKarabakh service members, and both Armenia and Azerbaijan have declared martial law, mobilized their armed forces, and called up reserve forces;

Whereas, The Guardian reports that Azerbaijan’s military actions in Nagorno Karabakh may be part of a planned military operation;

Whereas, the conflict follows on joint military exercises conducted by Turkey and Azerbaijan in August 2020;

Whereas, according to multiple reports, including by the Washington Post, Reuters, and The Guardian, in the weeks prior to Azerbaijan’s military operation, Turkey recruited mercenaries from Syria and as of September 29, 2020 has facilitated their deployment to Azerbaijan;

Whereas, the BBC, New York Times, and Washington Post have reported on the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s claim that Turkey is operating F-16 fighter jets in the region and the claim that on September 29, 2020 Turkey shot down an Armenian Su-25 fighter jet in Armenian airspace, killing the pilot;

Whereas, the conflict has the potential to escalate into proxy warfare among regional powers, including Turkey, and to further entrench the conflict and threaten peace and stability in the region;

Whereas, the United States serves as a co-chair of the Minsk Group along with France and Russia, and the Co-Chairs have urged a cease-fire and urged the parties to return to substantive negotiations as soon as possible;

Whereas, the European Union and the United Nations support a peaceful resolution and immediate cease-fire;

Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

1. Condemns Azerbaijan’s continued aggressive military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh and breaches of the cease fire agreement;

2. Denounces Turkey’s reported participation in and escalation of the conflict under President Tayyip Erdogan;

3. Supports an immediate return to the cease-fire agreement along the line of contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan and a peaceful solution which protects all parties’ human rights and joins with other countries supporting the same goals;

4. Reaffirms U.S. support of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Minsk Group efforts to secure an agreement from Azerbaijan to cease offensive military operations against Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia and to accept independent third-party monitoring along the line of contact.

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