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 Wednesday, December 6 2023 11:01
Marianna Mkrtchyan

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin urges U.S. Secretary of State to remain  focused on holding Aliyev regime accountable for ethnic cleansing in  Nagorno-Karabakh

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin urges U.S. Secretary of State to remain  focused on holding Aliyev regime accountable for ethnic cleansing in  Nagorno-Karabakh

ArmInfo. U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has  sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to remain focused on holding the Aliyev regime accountable for ethnic cleansing in Nagorno-Karabakh and to continue the United States' support for Armenians who were forced to flee the region.

The letter reads: 

"Dear Secretary Blinken,

"While terrible tragedies elsewhere have diverted the world's  attention, I write to ensure that we remain focused on holding the  Aliyev regime accountable for its brazen campaign of ethnic cleansing  in Nagorno- Karabakh and continue to support Armenians who were  forced to flee.

"As you are well aware, in September 2023, President Ilham Aliyev  launched a military campaign that drove around 100,000 Armenians out  of their homes, and during which Azerbaijani forces reportedly killed  and wounded civilians. These attacks were not only a clear violation  of the November 2020 ceasefire but also reportedly involved heinous  atrocities.

"Prior to the military invasion, Azerbaijan was effectively imposing  a humanitarian blockade on the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, preventing  the delivery of food, medicine, and basic humanitarian supplies.  Beyond the blockade, the State Department's 2022 Human Right Report  cites numerous reports of Azerbaijani forces committing extrajudicial  killings of Armenians. Furthermore, both before and after September,  Azerbaijan has continued its well-documented practice of seizing and  destroying Armenian cultural property in areas it controls, in  further pursuit of its efforts to erase Armenian history and culture.

"While Azerbaijan thus far is abiding by the terms of the September  20, 2023 ceasefire, I remain deeply concerned that Azerbaijan could  take further military action to achieve additional political gains,  particularly in regards to the so-called Zangezour corridor.

"I strongly encourage you to continue to work with international  partners and organizations to support accountability for the Aliyev  regime's actions. Specifically, I would like to know what steps you  have taken and plan to take regarding the following:

"Supporting efforts to substantiate and collect evidence regarding  the Aliyev regime's potential commission of war crimes and other  atrocities;

"Holding Azerbaijani officials accountable for any such acts,  including the application of potential sanctions and visa  restrictions;

"Urging appropriate international justice tribunals to pursue  accountability for Azerbaijani officials; Making clear to Azerbaijan  that aggression against its neighbors is unacceptable;

"Supporting Armenians displaced in the September 2023 assault;

"It is critically important that the United States continues our  commitment to prevent the commission of atrocities, protect  vulnerable civilians, and hold those responsible for atrocities  accountable for their actions. We must send a clear message to those  who believe they can operate with impunity.

"I look forward to your response."  

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