LOS ANGELES, Calif.—In a frank community meeting this morning in Los Angeles, California with President Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) called on the administration to undertake a series of decisive unilateral actions – all well within the legal powers of the Executive Branch – to stop Azerbaijan’s genocidal offensive against Artsakh:
1) Recognize the independence of the Artsakh Republic
2) Deny approval for any new arms exports to Turkey
3) Suspend the U.S. military aid program to Azerbaijan
4) Withdraw the Section 907 waiver and fully enforce this law
A broad array of other pressing policy priorities were discussed, including war crimes being committed against Armenian civilians, the withdrawal of Turkish/NATO F-16s from Azerbaijan, and the urgent need for an emergency US humanitarian response to the vast suffering and displacement caused by Azerbaijan and its Turkish/ISIS allies.
During a press conference before the meeting, O’Brien acknowledged Azerbaijan’s Turkey-backed military offensive against Artsakh but said that United States recognition of Artsakh was “not on the table at this point.” He expressed a willingness to look into sanctions on Turkey and Azerbaijan. He cited ongoing discussions about the possible deployment of Scandinavian peacekeepers.
“Armenian American voters – casting their ballots in a closely contested Presidential race – deserve to know if President Trump is taking actions – all well within his Executive Branch powers – to recognize the independence of the Artsakh Republic, deny approval for new arms exports to Turkey, suspend the U.S. military aid program to Azerbaijan, and withdraw the Administration’s Section 907 waiver,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
ANCA national board member Levon Kirakosian and ANCA Western Region Chairperson Nora Hovsepian took part in this meeting – organized by Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger – along with Michelle Kezirian from the Armenian Assembly, Talin Yacoubian from the AGBU, Archbishop Hovnan Derderian from the Western Diocese, Bishop Torkom Donoyan of the Western Prelacy, Bishop Mikael Mouradian from the Armenian Catholic Eparchy, Reverend Berj Djambazian from the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Maria Mehranian from Armenia Fund, and Aram Ordubegian of Arent Fox. The National Security Adviser was joined by US Senator Mike Lee of Utah.