WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today welcomed the French Senate’s 305-1 vote recognizing the independence of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh), calling upon the US administration and Congressional leaders to take similar action, as part of a broader U.S. effort to mediate a fair and lasting peace in the region.
“We welcome the French Senate’s overwhelming recognition of Artsakh and encourage the United States – as a fellow OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair country – to join in recognizing Artsakh’s status as a free and independent republic,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
“Aliyev’s Azerbaijan – guilty of weeks of non-stop war crimes against the citizens of Artsakh – lacks any legal, political or moral standing to oppose international recognition of Artsakh independence, an essential part of remedial efforts to ensure the safety of its at-risk population.”
Hamparian spoke on Facebook Live and encouraged pro-Artsakh advocates to urge President Trump, President-Elect Biden, Senators, and House members to recognize Artsakh.
US Congressional calls for recognition for Artsakh increased in October, following Turkey and Azerbaijan’s brutal 45-day onslaught against Armenia and Artsakh which ended in a disastrous November 9th ceasefire deal, forcing over 100,000 from their homes and the return of lands which served as a buffer against Aliyev’s aggression.
Congressional Armenian Caucus co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and a bipartisan group of over 40 US House members are spearheading legislation (H.Res.1203) calling for international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh as the foundation for lasting peace in the Caucasus region. The resolution – which enjoys strong support from the ANCA — also condemns Azerbaijan and Turkey’s ongoing attacks on Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh, urges the zeroing out of military aid to Azerbaijan, calls for Artsakh’s direct participation in ongoing OSCE mediated peace talks, and, more broadly, urges the easing of travel and communication restrictions between the US and the Artsakh Republic. A resolution (H.Res.1165) , led by Armenian Caucus co-Chair Jackie Speier (D-CA), which condemns Azerbaijan and Turkey’s aggression against Armenia and Artsakh has over 100 cosponsors.
In the Senate, Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced two measures (S.Res.754 and S.Res.755) which focus on Turkey and Azerbaijan’s repression at home and aggression abroad, and, when passed, would block the sale of U.S military equipment to the Aliyev and Erdogan regimes.
Senate and House member records of support for Artsakh since the September 27th Azerbaijani and Turkish attacks are available on http://anca.org/mystate.
French Senate First International Federal Body to Call for Artsakh Recognition
French Senators Bruno Retailleau (LR), Hervé Marseille (centrist), Patrick Kanner (PS), Eliane Assassi (majority Communist CRCE), and Guillaume Gontard (environmentalist) led passage of the Artsakh recognition resolution today, which received the support of five of eight political parties represented in the upper chamber. Two hours of debate included remarks by some 12 members of the Senate, who extolled the importance of Artsakh recognition in addition to condemning Azerbaijan and Turkey’s attacks against Artsakh, calling for high levels of French humanitarian aid to assist those displaced by Aliyev’s attacks, urging an investigation of war crimes committed against the Artsakh population and the use of illegal munitions, and sanctioning Turkey. The resolution also urged the expansion of French participation within the OSCE Minsk Group framework to negotiate a lasting peace for Artsakh which respects the 1994 ceasefire borders, ensures the security of the Armenian populations and the right of return of displaced persons, as well as the preservation of Armenian cultural and religious heritage.
Representing the government, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, France’s state minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, cautioned the senators about the ramifications of France’s recognition of Artsakh, saying that France, a co-chairing country of the OSCE Minsk Group, could lose its objectivity in the ongoing negotiations process. He also cited the fact that Armenia has not recognized Artsakh.
The ANC of France welcomed the French Senate’s unprecedented action.
“This is a historic vote for international efforts for the recognition of Artsakh,” said Jules Boyadjian, Chairman of the Committee for the Defense of the Armenian Cause (ANC of France).
“Thanks to the Senate, France has regained part of its honor, which has been squandered for the past six weeks because of its criminal neutrality. The government, more isolated than ever, must listen to the nation’s representatives, put an end to empty speeches, pull itself together and take the lead in the fight for the recognition of Artsakh—the only guarantee for lasting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh,” added Boyadjian.
Artsakh recognition legislation has also been introduced in the French National Assembly and is set to be considered on December 3rd.