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U.S. Senator Ben Cardin Pressures Blinken to Hold Azerbaijan Accountable for Artsakh Violations

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin Pressures Blinken to Hold Azerbaijan Accountable for Nagorno-Karabakh Violat

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, as Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has intensified calls upon U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, emphasizing the imperative need to hold the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's regime accountable for horrifying violations in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). In a letter penned to Blinken, Senator Cardin urged unwavering focus on the ongoing plight faced by Armenians, who were subjected to forced displacement from the region due to what he described as an orchestrated campaign of ethnic cleansing by Azerbaijan.

The letter, released by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, outlined the dire circumstances faced by Armenians in the aftermath of President Aliyev's military campaign in September 2023. It highlighted the displacement of approximately 100,000 Armenians from their homes, coupled with reported civilian casualties inflicted by Azerbaijani forces, constituting flagrant violations of the November 2020 ceasefire agreement. Furthermore, the letter emphasized the alleged perpetration of heinous atrocities during the military offensive.

Senator Cardin highlighted Azerbaijan's preceding actions, including the imposition of a humanitarian blockade on Nagorno-Karabakh, hindering the access of vital supplies like food and medicine to the region's inhabitants. The letter also cited the 2022 Human Rights Report by the State Department, documenting extrajudicial killings of Armenians by Azerbaijani forces and the systematic destruction of Armenian cultural heritage.

Expressing deep concern over potential future military actions by Azerbaijan, particularly concerning the so-called “Zangezur corridor”, Senator Cardin urged Blinken to collaborate with global partners and organizations to ensure accountability for the actions of the Aliyev regime. He specifically outlined steps, including the collection of evidence of war crimes, holding Azerbaijani officials accountable, and advocating for international justice tribunals to pursue accountability for those responsible.

In response to the mounting pressure, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated America's commitment to aiding those in need worldwide, citing ethnic Armenians among other vulnerable populations. Blinken, speaking at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition 2023 Tribute Celebration, emphasized America's dedication to providing assistance globally, highlighting ongoing congressional debates concerning funding for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, Israel, and other regions.

The exchange between Senator Cardin and Secretary Blinken shows the intensifying scrutiny on Azerbaijan's actions in Nagorno-Karabakh and the growing international call for accountability amid concerns of further destabilization in the region.

The United States remains committed to its humanitarian obligations, pledging to support and protect vulnerable communities globally, including the ethnic Armenians affected by the ongoing crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh.


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