US Congressional “The Hill” newspaper publishes article by Azerbaijan’s Consul General on Karabakh

Baku: The influential Congressional “The Hill” newspaper, which is regularly read by US senators and congresspersons, their staffers, policy experts and public at large, published on July 2, 2014 an article by Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles Nasimi Aghayev. The Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles told APA that titled “Nagorno-Karabakh: A threat to stability and US interests,” the article covers the illegal military occupation and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized territory by Armenia, destruction of priceless Azerbaijani cultural heritage in these lands, as well as the threats to the regional stability caused by the ongoing occupation.

Touching on the 20th anniversary of the ceasefire, the Consul General notes: “But there is no cause for celebration, for there has been no progress towards a lasting and equitable peace. Multiple U.N. resolutions calling on Armenian forces to withdraw have been ignored: Armenia remains as the occupier of Azerbaijan’s territory and has not allowed refugees to return to their homes.”

Stressing the strategic importance of the region for the US security, the diplomat notes: “The Caucasus is crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines bringing energy from Azerbaijan to the West; Azerbaijan is a critical forward post in the fight against global terrorism, and a vital transport link for the U.S. troops based in Afghanistan.”

Speaking of the mediation role of the US in the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Nasimi Aghayev writes that Washington “has refused to recognise the Armenia-installed regime in Nagorno-Karabakh, and has recently restated the importance of the full withdrawal of Armenian troops from Azerbaijan’s occupied districts.”

“These are commendable steps”, he notes further, “but they fall short of what must be done to make Armenia fulfill its legal and moral obligations. As a global leader, with enormous interests in the region, the U.S. cannot allow Armenia to continue defying the will of the international community and threatening peace in the Caucasus.”

The Consul General stresses that “the U.S. must be more active and forthright in leading the global community to condemn Armenia for the occupation, and demand that it abide by international law. If Armenia does not comply, the U.S. should impose sanctions on Armenia to compel it to behave lawfully and responsibly. Without this clear stance and without pressure on the Armenian government, no resolution will be possible, and instability and the threat of a new war will remain.”

The author further notes that “recent political developments in the U.S. have created new tensions. In May, in an unusual foray into foreign policy, the California State Assembly passed a resolution AJR 32 calling for recognition of the illegal Nagorno-Karabakh regime – which neither the U.S. nor any other country has recognized as an independent entity.”

He mentions “these developments are driven by ethnic special interest groups, which actively work to damage the U.S.-Azerbaijan strategic partnership and – by extension – U.S. interests in the region, and defend at all costs the military occupation of Azerbaijan’s lands. The Azerbaijani people are watching these events and cannot understand why such hostile actions are being taken in the U.S. against a trusted friend. Such resolutions are doing great and unjustified harm to the standing of the U.S. in a critical region.”

The Consul General concluded by saying that “It only makes sense that the U.S. government should work to prevent the adoption of such biased and flawed resolutions by state legislatures, which justify ethnic cleansing, violate international law, and contradict American foreign policy and American interests.”