WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has shared with Ambassador Robert Bradtke, the U.S. Co-Chairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, the concern of the Armenian American community that the OSCE’s weak response to Azerbaijan’s recent attack on the Mardakert region of Nagorno Karabagh will effectively encourage continued belligerence from Baku.
In a letter sent yesterday to Ambassador Bradtke, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian explained that:
“Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, as a matter of public record, consistently reaffirms his interest in resolving the Nagorno Karabagh issue through military means. He regularly boasts of how his nation’s oil wealth has fueled a dramatic arms build-up and provided him with a decisive military advantage. He is open and unapologetic in his warnings of war, against both Artsakh and Armenia. He makes no secret of either his means or motives to take Nagorno Karabagh by force.”
“And yet, when President Aliyev acts, as he did on June 18, 2010, on these very threats – and his own Foreign Minister confirms that they were in fact premeditated assaults meant to send a message to the world about Azerbaijan’s intentions – the leadership of the OSCE Minsk Group responded with simply another generic call on all parties to refrain from force. This weak response ignored both the facts on the ground in the region and the undisputed public record of Azerbaijani threats of renewed aggression.”
The ANCA letter went on to note that, “Whether rooted in an approach of artificial evenhandedness or an actual decision to appease Azerbaijan, the Minsk Group’s failure to stand up against this aggression effectively signals the leadership in Baku that they get a free pass on this attack and, even more significantly, a green light to continue on their path toward war.” Hachikian closed the communication by encouraging Ambassador Bradtke to work with his colleagues, in both the State Department and within the OSCE, in issuing “forceful condemnations of Azerbaijan’s recent attack, of President Aliyev’s escalating war rhetoric, and, more broadly, of Baku’s determined campaign to undermine, at every opportunity, the search for a lasting and equitable peace.”
Earlier this week, the ANCA issued a public statement critical of the OSCE’s failure to meaningfully respond to Azerbaijan’s recent attack on Nagorno Karabagh. The statement is available here.”