U.S. representatives to support Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self-determination

Thirty members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Frank Pallone are introducing a resolution to support the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region in its bid for self-determination, Pallone said in a statement on Thursday.

The resolution, set to be introduced on Friday, says the current conflict started “after Azerbaijani and Turkish forces broke a long-standing ceasefire and invaded Artsakh on September 27,” using the name the breakaway administration in Karabakh uses for itself. 

The representatives repeated the allegations that Azerbaijan targeted civilians and used cluster munitions in the conflict, and that Turkey had transferred Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan to support its fight against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which is internationally recognized as Azeri territory but is governed by an ethnically Armenian majority.

“Azerbaijan and Turkey have declared on multiple occasions that they are unwilling to come back to the negotiating table under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Minsk Group,” Pallone said.

The international community “has folded to Azerbaijani and Turkish pressure for too long, ignoring their constant bombastic rhetoric and their blatant military buildup over the years,” the representative said, adding that Karabakh’s independence should be “finally acknowledged.”

The resolution includes a reference to a bill that the Congress passed during the 1990s, which stated that the United States may not provide any assistance to the Azeri government “until the President determines, and so reports to the Congress, that the Government of Azerbaijan is taking demonstrable steps to cease all blockades and other offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”

“International recognition of a country’s right to self-determination is the only way to ensure its people will be able to voice their legitimate concerns and work toward the peaceful settlement of conflicts on the world stage,” the resolution states, and calls for all parties to withdraw to their positions before Sept. 27.