A Christian advocacy group submitted a letter to the U.S. Congress this week urging motion to help Armenians nonetheless reduce off in the Nagorno-Karabakh area.
“Washington’s lax approach has only emboldened Azerbaijan, who since December has been holding 120,000 Armenian Christians hostage in an attempt to extract concessions from Armenia in the long-delayed, oft-promised talks to normalize relations,” Robert Nicholson, president and CEO of Philos Project, wrote in the letter.
“It’s done nothing to relieve pressure on the beleaguered people of Artsakh.”
The Philos Project submitted the letter to the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) Friday, addressing Chairman Mike McCaul, R-Texas, and rating member Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have fought two wars in the previous 30 years over Nagorno-Karabakh, internationally acknowledged as a part of Azerbaijan however dwelling to a big Armenian inhabitants in the Caucasus Mountains. Tensions have spiraled between the 2 ex-Soviet neighbors over the blockade of the one street giving direct entry to Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia.
The Philos Project made an appeal, alongside Armenian-Americans and different advocacy teams, immediately to Biden for motion to assist the stranded Armenians, however the administration has offered solely a “muted response,” the group mentioned.
“Instead of acting decisively in response to a clear crisis, one that many see as the unfolding of a second Armenian Genocide, the U.S. government has, by all appearances, treated the situation as business as usual,” Nicholson wrote. “The President has been markedly silent, failing to acknowledge the current crisis even when issuing an anniversary message on the Armenian Genocide of 1915.”
Nicholson famous that following his earlier letter to President Biden, the State Department changed the senior adviser for Caucasus negotiations, which created “an unfortunate setback.”
One of the longstanding considerations surrounding the battle is Turkey’s involvement, seen to again the Azeri place. The day earlier than the talks occurred with Blinken, Turkey closed its airspace to Armenian plane in a perceived response to a monument, a transfer the Philos Project argued “could easily be viewed as an attempt to further pressure the Armenian side and maximize Azeri leverage.”
A ceasefire brokered in 2020 by Russia between Armenia and Azerbaijan following a very violent conflict left Armenia susceptible to the political ambitions of longtime adversary (and U.S. ally) Turkey, which now seeks to use Armenia as land entry to commerce with Azerbaijan. That entry additionally supplies Turkey a stronger foothold in the Caucuses, bordering Iran and just a bit south of Russia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this month hosted the international ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan for face-to-face talks, and Blinken claimed the ministers made “tangible progress.” The secretary claimed a deal between the 2 nations to finish the blockade was “within sight, within reach,” however Nicholson mentioned that no announcement materialized.
“The dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh has challenged administrations of both parties, but the Biden team is handling it with the unique indifference and slowness with which they’ve addressed other foreign policy disasters,” Morgan Ortagus, founding father of Polaris National Security and a former State Department spokesperson.
“Their actions over the past five months show their apathy towards religious liberty and their fundamental misunderstanding of leverage.”
Nicholson urged the HFAC to assist “reassert” American management by bringing instant aid to the residents of Artsakh and not “turn a blind eye as purported partners and allies attempt to negotiate with another partner through violent or coercive means.”
“Negotiations toward peace made under these conditions are bound to foster resentments that will be their undoing in the long run,” Nicholson argued. “America can do better.”
In response to a Fox News Digital request for touch upon the blockade earlier this 12 months, the Azerbaijan Embassy in the U.S. despatched a “fact sheet” addressing “baseless claims on ‘closure’ of Lachin road and ‘humanitarian crisis’ confronted by ethnic Armenians” in the area.
“As repeatedly stated by Azerbaijan, no restrictions have been applied to movement on the Lachin road for humanitarian purposes,” an announcement from the embassy mentioned. “However, the Armenian side and the illegal regime created by it in the territories of Azerbaijan prevent the movement of local residents in order to abuse the situation.”
In response to a Fox News Digital request for remark, the State Department pointed to Blinken’s comments made following the May 4 negotiations. McCaul didn’t reply by time of publication.