September 5, 2012 - 10:45 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) commends the Administration and Members of Congress for their initial statements in reaction to the news that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Ramil Safarov, who was convicted of brutally murdering an Armenian officer with an axe while the latter was sleeping, reported the Assembly.
The National Security Council issued a statement last week highlighting President Obama's deep concerns and noting that "this action is contrary to ongoing efforts to reduce regional tensions and promote reconciliation." The State Department also issued a statement, which read in part: "The United States is extremely troubled by the news that the President of Azerbaijan pardoned Azerbaijani army officer Ramil Safarov, who returned to Baku today following his transfer from Hungary.”
The Assembly said it is troubled by reports that Azerbaijan used its financial resources and Turkish influence to secure the repatriation of Safarov, and moreover that Safarov was reinstated and promoted in the military. “The Assembly, like all people of good faith, will work to see this entire dirty affair fully exposed. Safarov committed a cowardly terrorist act by killing a man who was defenseless at sleep, and Aliyev's rewarding of such behavior further exposes Azerbaijan as a threat to regional peace. It also definitely confirms that under no circumstances can the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh return to any form of Azeri rule.”
"The Assembly condemns Azerbaijan's pardon of Ramil Safarov in the strongest possible terms," stated Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.
"We also appreciate the initial statements issued by the Administration, State Department, and Members of Congress. President Ilham Aliyev's actions are consistent with the pattern of rhetoric with which he continues to threaten war against Armenians. This latest escalation only underscores the need to guarantee the safety and security of Armenian people in Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia," added Ardouny.