Rep. Adam Schiff

Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Statement Calling for Immediate International Action to Prevent Humanitarian Crisis in Artsakh

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WASHINGTON — Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), David G. Valadao (CA-21), and Adam B. Schiff (CA-28) released a statement on July 28 calling for immediate actions to be taken by the international community to address the months-long blockade of the Lachin Corridor by the  Aliyev regime.

“The people of Artsakh are facing an unfathomable humanitarian crisis at the hands of the Aliyev regime. Because of the Azeri blockade of the Lachin Corridor blockade, food is dwindling, medical supplies are limited, and essentials for daily life are dangerously low,” the lawmakers stated. “The international community has sat on the sidelines for far too long, watching as this crisis has escalated to a critical point where the lives of tens of thousands are currently at risk. Meanwhile, President Aliyev has faced zero consequences for his brutal campaign to force Armenians in Artsakh off their historic lands.

Rep. Gus Bilirakis

“This is the definition of ethnic cleansing. The international community must utilize all diplomatic tools available to halt the blockade, open this vital lifeline, and prevent a catastrophic humanitarian crisis from unfolding. We call on the Biden Administration to act immediately and help bring this deliberate and calculated crisis to a peaceful end.”

Armenians in the South Caucasus are continuously threatened by the destabilizing, brutal actions of the Aliyev regime. The blockade of the Lachin Corridor for over seven months is risking the lives and livelihoods of over 120,000 people in Artsakh, and the prevention of aid from going through the corridor is bringing the humanitarian crisis to a head. It is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis caused by Azerbaijan’s deadly 2020 invasion of Artsakh that killed 5,000 and forced more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians to leave their homes. Azeri forces continue to harass, detain, and kill individuals in Armenia and Artsakh, while also falsely declaring Armenian territory as their own.

On July 31 Ambassador Lilit Makunts briefed Pallone on the consequences of the Lachin corridor blockade, which result in a humanitarian catastrophe in Nagorno Karabakh, as well as on the case of Vagif Khachatryan, who was abducted and detained by Azerbaijan on July 29 during his transportation to Armenia for a medical care with the help of ICRC.

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