America Must Contain Azeri-Turkish Aggression


2/24/21 – Newsweek

As a leader in the advancement of human rights and democracy, America is respected around the world for effectively deploying its diplomatic and economic influence to solve global problems and find peaceful solution to regional conflicts.

With the Biden administration pledging greater diplomatic engagement, defense of democracy and prioritization of human rights, we hope more attention will be given to the fragile situation in Nagorno-Karabakh.

In late September, amid a global pandemic and the hotly contested election season, Turkey and Azerbaijan launched a war in Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, that left thousands dead and displaced tens of thousands more.

As one of the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, set up in 1992 to help resolve conflicts in the region, the United States recently called for a “negotiated, comprehensive, and sustainable settlement” for Artsakh. We applaud this call but, with no consequences for their aggression, Turkey and Azerbaijan will learn the wrong lessons from this conflict.

Azerbaijan, with Turkey’s backing, disregarded the U.S. role as a peacemaker, flaunting its disdain for even the most basic of international norms. Using Azerbaijan as a client state for conducting war, Turkey openly admitted to subverting an active peace process co-chaired by its NATO allies, the United States and France.

Turkey employed NATO’s AWACS system, as well as American F-16s in support of Azerbaijan in open violation of its agreement to refrain from deploying these aircrafts. Turkey was credibly accused by both Western governments and respected media outlets of recruiting and transporting Syrian jihadist fighters into the region. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan repeatedly shelled maternity hospitals, markets, and cathedrals far from the frontlines and used internationally prohibited cluster munitions in residential areas and incendiary weapons like white phosphorus bombs. In an effort at ethnic cleansing, there has been widespread desecration of Armenian cultural and Christian religious heritage in the occupied territories. Read more…