AW: ANCA leadership calls for concrete steps to sanction Azerbaijan and support Artsakh’s rights

WASHINGTON–Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) leaders rallied congressional support to reverse Azerbaijan’s genocide of Artsakh Armenians and defend Armenia’s security during policy-level consultations this week on Capitol Hill.

House Foreign Affairs Committee member Mike Lawler (R-NY) with ANCA Board member Ani Tchaghlasian, ANC Artsakh’s Gev Iskajyan and ANCA’s Tereza Yerimyan and Alex Galitsky during a Capitol Hill meeting focusing on Artsakh justice and Armenia security

ANCA National Board members Aida Dimejian, Dzovinar Hamakorzian and Ani Tchaghlasian were joined by ANC Artsakh Executive Director Gev Iskajyan and ANCA staff members Tereza Yerimyan and Alex Galitsky in meetings with congressional leaders throughout the week, with additional district meetings scheduled during upcoming weeks.  This first Capitol Hill fly-in of 2024 was timed as Congress begins writing the Fiscal Year 2025 Foreign Aid Bill and Fiscal Year 2025 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The ANCA is calling for support for Artsakh genocide survivors, enforcing Section 907 restrictions on U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan and exploring additional Azerbaijan sanctions opportunities through White House and congressional action.

ANC Artsakh’s Gev Iskajyan shares the harrowing realities of Azerbaijan’s blockade and genocide of Artsakh’s population with Congressional Armenian Caucus founding co-chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

In each of the meetings, ANC Artsakh’s Gev Iskajyan shared the harrowing realities of Azerbaijan’s genocidal ethnic cleansing of the over 120,000 Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) indigenous Armenians, forced from their homes in September 2023 following a brutal 10-month blockade and September 19 attack that devastated the civilian population. Throughout the Artsakh blockade and its aftermath, Iskajyan served as a trusted Capitol Hill news source, participating in dozens of briefings with congressional leaders, arranged by national, regional and local ANCA advocates.

Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) with ANCA National Board members Ani Tchaghlasian and Dzovinar Hamakorzian, ANC Artsakh’s Gev Iskajyan and ANCA’s Alex Galitsky

The ANCA praised Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) for their leadership on the unanimous passage of S.3000, blocking U.S. security aid to Azerbaijan, and called for immediate U.S. House consideration of its companion measures.  ANCA leaders also hailed Sen. Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) efforts to press the State Department on a flawed U.S. policy of Azerbaijani appeasement, which aided and abetted President Aliyev’s genocidal actions against Artsakh.

ANCA National Board member Dzovinar Hamakorzian and ANCA’s Tereza Yerimyan discuss Azerbaijan’s ongoing threats against Armenia following their genocidal ethnic cleansing of Artsakh’s Armenian population with S.3000 champion Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

In meetings with Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Foreign Affairs Committee member Mike Lawler (R-NY), ANCA leaders discussed Azerbaijan’s ongoing occupation of the Republic of Armenia’s territory and threats of renewed attacks against Armenia.  Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders Pallone, Schiff, Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and David Valadao (R-CA) issued a statement this week condemning January 10 remarks by President Aliyev laying claim to sovereign Armenian territory and urging U.S. and international action. “It is past time we hold his regime accountable for the belligerent rhetoric and actions it has taken against Armenians in the South Caucasus. The United States and our regional partners should use every diplomatic tool, including sanctions, to help guarantee the territorial integrity of Armenia and push back against Aliyev’s blatant threats against it. We call on the State Department and our international partners to take immediate action to halt any further Azeri aggression and ensure Armenia’s safety and security,” stated the Armenian Caucus co-chairs.

ANCA National Board member Aida Dimejian and ANC Artsakh’s Gev Iskajyan share community concerns about failed Biden administration policies on Artsakh and urge stronger congressional action, during a meeting with Congressional Armenian Caucus co-chair Adam Schiff (D-CA)

ANCA National Board members thanked retiring Armenian-Assyrian Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) for her decades of leadership to end Turkey’s gag-rule on proper U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide and for spearheading current efforts to secure congressional funding for Armenian Genocide education.  Since Turkey and Azerbaijan’s 2020 war against Armenia and Artsakh and the September 2023 Artsakh genocide, Rep. Eshoo has repeatedly led initiatives calling on the Biden administration to demand accountability from the Aliyev regime.

ANCA leaders thank Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) for being the voice of Armenian Genocide recognition during her decades of service in Congress and for her ongoing work to secure justice for victims of the Artsakh genocide

During their meetings, ANCA National Board members called for expanded U.S. aid to assist Artsakh refugees with emergency food, as well as longer-term housing and job placement needs. The delegation also explored the role of the U.S. and international community in enforcing Artsakh Armenian property rights and ensuring the population’s safe return to their ancestral homes, under clear, long-term security guarantees.  ANCA leaders called for U.S. action to secure Azerbaijan’s immediate release of Republic of Artsakh leaders and over 80 Armenian prisoners of war illegally imprisoned by Azerbaijan in the aftermath of the 2020 war and 2023 Artsakh genocide.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.