WASHINGTON, DC – The Co-Chairs of the Armenia Caucus today condemned the violence along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border near the village of Tavush and called on the Trump Administration to hold Azerbaijan accountable. Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-14), and Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-28) wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to request that the United States encourage Azerbaijan to accept international monitoring and remove snipers, heavy arms, and new weaponry along the Artsakh and Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
“We are extremely concerned about the recent surge in violence along the Armenian-Azerbaijani international border near the village of Tavush. The recent outbreak of violence appears to be part of a deliberate campaign of incitement given the consistent barrage of combative rhetoric and provocative actions taken by from Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his ally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” the letter states. “The United States should not be aiding and abetting a reckless, autocratic state like Azerbaijan for any reason, especially not when it threatens a democratic partner like Armenia.”
The letter also expressed concerns about U.S. security assistance to Azerbaijan and its potential use against Armenia. The United States has sent over $100 million to Azerbaijan over the last two years, defying two decades of funding parity between Azerbaijan and Armenia. This funding has allowed Azerbaijan to shift resources toward offensive capabilities, threatening Armenian lives.