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U.S. Rep. Smith Urges White House Action as Genocide Threatens 120,000 in Nagorno-Karabakh

U.S. Rep. Smith Urges White House Action as Genocide Threatens 120,000 in Nagorno-Karabakh

In an appeal to the Biden administration, Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, has called upon the White House to condemn the alleged genocide against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. Smith's letter emphasizes the urgency of the situation, urging the United States to take a firm stance against any compromise with Azerbaijan in the ongoing conflict.

According to a report by Fox News, Smith's letter implores President Biden to make a definitive statement that the United States will not tolerate, support, or engage in negotiations over genocide. Furthermore, he demands that Azerbaijan immediately lift its blockade of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). Failure to comply, Smith warns, would prompt the United States to take action through the United Nations, with the intention of referring the matter to the International Criminal Court for investigation and prosecution.

Smith's letter comes on the heels of compelling and urgent testimony given by Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Ocampo addressed the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, co-chaired by Smith, where he asserted that there is a reasonable basis to believe that Azerbaijan's blockade of the Lachin Corridor constitutes genocide. Ocampo also alleged that President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan intentionally created conditions aimed at the destruction of the 120,000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Expressing deep concern in his letter, Smith pointed out that Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently advocated for dialogue and compromise between the parties involved. Smith argued that this approach could inadvertently enable Azerbaijan's use of genocide as a bargaining tactic, a stance that should be unequivocally rejected.

Smith emphasized President Aliyev's extensive record of human rights abuses, spanning decades. He recounted his own meetings with Aliyev in 2013 and 2014, where he raised concerns about the mistreatment and imprisonment of Azerbaijani human rights activists and the abusive treatment of Armenian Christians.

In a resolute tone, Smith asserted, "Thus by encouraging 'compromise,' the Secretary appears to facilitate Azerbaijan's use of genocide as a negotiating tactic. Negotiation may be needed to solve the differences between Azerbaijan and the Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, but genocide is an abuse impossible to ignore."

Smith concluded his letter with a heartfelt plea for the Biden administration to acknowledge its grave responsibility in this matter. He called for a humane solution that involves the lifting of the blockade, allowing people to continue living in their ancient homeland without the constant threat of violence and harm.

"This situation is now a three-alarm fire," Smith warned, underscoring the urgent need for action to prevent further suffering in Nagorno-Karabakh.


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