August 11, 2014 - 15:09 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Americans for Artsakh (AFA) condemned Azerbaijan's recent aggression along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic armed forces and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.
“Baku's deliberate and ongoing sniper and cross-border attacks are clear violations of the ceasefire agreement it signed with Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia in 1994. With each illegal attack, Baku's destructive policy perpetuates a dangerous cycle of violence, and postpones a peaceful and comprehensive settlement. These continued acts of violence, such as the death of an Armenian villager in Azerbaijani captivity, in brutal violation of international norms, are entrenching distrust between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, and causing severe damage to the peace process,” AFA said in a statement.
“In recent weeks, the Aliyev regime has also intensified a crackdown on domestic critics. Many of those arrested are proponents of peaceful conflict resolution and civil society-level contacts, which have already been severely curtailed due to the regime's harassment,” it said.
The AFA called on the international community — individuals, governments, and international organizations — to do more to help secure a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
“Considering Azerbaijan's increasingly aggressive posture, greater pressure on President Ilham Aliyev is needed to stop his country's state-sanctioned violence against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Artsakh,” it said.
The AFA also urged the Co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to restore the Nagorno Karabakh Republic's full participation in negotiations as an official party to the peace talks.
“The conflict is rooted in the people of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic's struggle for their unalienable human rights to live freely in peace and security. For the peace process to succeed, their voices must also be heard,” it said.
“As Americans, we are convinced that our government will continue supporting freedom and justice, and will call on the U.S. Administration to influence the Azerbaijani leadership to abandon warmongering and threats of renewed aggression, as they are unacceptable and damaging to international mediation efforts. During this past weekend's meeting with Presidents Putin and Sargsyan, President Aliyev expressed the need to solve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict peacefully. He should be held to account to match his words with peaceful actions,” AFA concluded.