Armenian Caucus CoChairs Call for US Response to Azerb. Aggression


WASHINGTON, AUGUST 28. ARMINFO. The Armenian Assembly of America
commended Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Reps. Joe
Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) for taking a firm
stand on repeated and blatant threats by Azerbaijan against Armenia
and raising this “serious issue” with Secretary of State Collin

ARMINFO was informed in AAA, in a joint letter to Powell Friday, with
copies sent to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and Special
Coordinator for Eurasia Conflicts Ambassador Steven Mann,
Representatives Knollenberg and Pallone said U.S. silence in the face
of recent remarks by a ranking Azerbaijani official calling for the
occupation of Armenia and “removal of the entire Armenian population
from the Caucasus” should not be “dismissed as mere rhetoric.”

Addressing Secretary Powell, Representatives Knollenberg and Pallone

“As Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, we would
like to raise with you a serious issue that, if not compellingly
addressed by the Administration, has the potential to undermine
U.S. interests and American values in the strategically important
Caucasus region.

We refer to the remarks by officials in the government of President
Ilham Aliyev calling into question the very existence of Armenia. For
example, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman called for Azerbaijan’s
takeover of the entire territory of Armenia and removal of the entire
Armenian population from the Caucasus. He went so far as to say,
“Within the next 25 years there will exist no state of Armenia in the
South Caucasus.” Given Azerbaijan’s history of aggression against
Armenians, these remarks cannot be dismissed as mere rhetoric.

>Azerbaijan’s threats against Armenia’s survival reinforce our
commitment to > maintaining parity in U.S. military aid to Armenia and
Azerbaijan. Any tilt in military spending toward Azerbaijan could, in
our view, destabilize the region The United States plays a crucial
role in the negotiations over Nagorno Karabakh, to help the people of
this region to find a lasting and equitable peace. These threats by
Azerbaijan undermine these efforts and seriously complicate our
diplomacy in the region. It is our hope that the United States takes
action to condemn these remarks, to ensure that all parties involved
in this conflict make a genuine commitment towards peace and