WASHINGTON — On October 4, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, in response to questions posed by Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the US Ambassadorial nominee to Azerbaijan, Earle D. Litzenberger, stated that the US condemns violence along the line of contact, which he noted undermines the peace process and violates the 1994 cease-fire agreement.
“As one of the three Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group process that is working to achieve a peaceful settlement to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, we are working along the lines of three principles: one is the non-use of force and the non-threat of the use of force, the second is the respect for territorial integrity, and the third is the rights of peoples to self-determination. All three of those are important, any agreement or settlement that does not fully take all three into account is unlikely to succeed,” said Litzenberger. “All of the Co-Chairs, the US especially, condemns any violence and any threat of the use of violence along the line of contact, it undermines the peace process, it violates the 1994 cease-fire, and is very unhelpful,” Litzenberger continued.
During the Assembly’s National Advocacy Conference last week, Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny along with former Chairman of the Armenian Assembly of America Board of Directors Peter Vosbikian and other New Jersey constituents met with the Senator’s policy staff and discussed several issues, including Azerbaijan’s ongoing cease-fire violations, especially the targeting of kindergartens.
“We appreciate Ranking Member Menendez for raising key concerns about Azerbaijan’s ongoing bellicose rhetoric and cease-fire violations,” stated the Assembly Co-Chairs Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “We also remain deeply troubled by Azerbaijan’s ongoing attempt to whitewash its human rights record through its $3 billion laundromat scheme, which not only has been exposed, but led to an indictment by the US Department of Justice,” the Co-Chairs continued.
Litzenberger of California is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor. Read his full statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.