Representatives Anna Eshoo and Chris Smith Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Azerbaijan’s Ethnic Cleansing of Artsakh

ANCA Welcomes resolution formally recognizing Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, demanding accountability for Azerbaijan’s war crimes, and advocating for the right of Artsakh Armenians to a safe and secure return home

June 27, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) have introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and urging the Biden Administration to take immediate action to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its genocidal aggression, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“The Azerbaijani assault on Nagorno-Karabakh last year brought about the destruction of the ethnic Armenian community that has called the region home for centuries. Azerbaijan’s actions meet every definition of ethnic cleansing and must be condemned as such,” said Rep. Anna Eshoo. “Our resolution establishes a clear record of the atrocities perpetrated against the Armenian people and outlines critical steps that the U.S. must take to pursue justice and accountability for these crimes.”

“The horrific atrocities and ethnic cleansing perpetrated by Azerbaijan against the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh does not erase the Armenians’ right to live in their ancient homeland in peace and freedom and to practice their own faith, follow their own customs and speak their own language,” said Rep. Chris Smith, who chaired two congressional hearings last year on the plight of the Armenians. “Our bipartisan legislation urges the Biden administration to vigorously support the Armenians’ rights against the ongoing crimes of the Azerbaijani government under its ruthless dictator Ilham Aliyev.”

The resolution would recognize Azerbaijan’s forced displacement of Artsakh’s over 100,000 Armenians as an act of ethnic cleansing, and calls on the Administration to make a public determination to the same effect. Additionally, the resolution urges the United States to facilitate a just and lasting peace in the South Caucasus that secures the release of all ilegally detained Armenian prisoners of war and civilian captives – including Artsakh’s political leaders – and ensures the right of Armenians to return to their home with guarantees for their security.

“Having faced no material costs or consequences for its ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, Azerbaijan continues to threaten renewed violence to secure yet more unilateral concessions from Armenia,” remarked ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “A just and durable peace must start with accountability. We commend Representatives Eshoo and Smith for their bold leadership in condemning Azerbaijan’s genocidal aggression, urging the Biden Administration to take immediate action to ensure the release of Armenian prisoners and hostages, and pressing for the right of Artsakh’s Armenians to safely return to their homes under international protection.”

The ANCA has launched a nationwide action alert – – urging Armenian Americans and supporters to contact their U.S. Representative to cosponsor the Eshoo-Smith resolution.

Since its ethnic cleansing of Artsakh’s entire indigenous Armenian population last year, Azerbaijan has faced no meaningful costs for its genocidal aggression – despite assurances made by the Department of State that the U.S. would “not countenance any action to ethnically cleanse the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh.” Additionally, despite a commitment by Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien ensuring “no business as usual” with Azerbaijan following its military assault on Artsakh, the United States has resumed high-level engagements with Baku in the absence of accountability.

In demanding immediate action to hold Azerbaijan accountable for its ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, the Eshoo-Smith resolution calls on the Biden Administration to impose targeted sanctions on Azerbaijani government officials complicit in human rights abuses and enforce statutory prohibitions on U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan pursuant to Section 907 of the FREEDOM Support Act.

The text of the resolution is provided here.


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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