In light of recent attacks from Azerbaijan in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) is calling for a Congressional delegation to visit the region.
Costa is also calling for a Congressional hearing to discuss the rising tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Driving the news: On Tuesday, Azerbaijan went on the offensive against what it said were Armenian military targets in Nagorno-Karabakh.
- That came one year after the two countries clashed along their border, resulting in the deaths of around 300 people over a few days.
- Wednesday, Costa and fellow Democratic Congressmen Brad Schneider and Brad Sherman sent a letter to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs requesting a bipartisan fact-finding mission to the area to meet with Armenian representatives.
- The delegation would also reaffirm Congressional support for peace in the South Caucuses.
- Costa, Rep. David Valadao (R – Hanford) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R – Elk Grove) joined the rest of the Congressional Armenian Caucus in a letter urging the Biden Administration to establish a mandate and peacekeeping mission to protect the vulnerable Armenian population through the United Nations Security Council.
What they’re saying: In the letter calling for a Congressional delegation, Costa and his peers said the trip would provide an invaluable opportunity for representatives to meet with world leaders on issues of concern and national security.
- “The United States is home to a proud Armenian population,” the letter reads. “The impact of Armenian immigrants is seen today within agriculture, historic landmarks, and a variety of traditional Armenian cuisine. Armenian-Americans throughout the United States demand that Congress take action to uphold human rights and that a lasting peace is found.”
- Costa also called on the House Foreign Affairs Committee to utilize its oversight powers to figure out how Congress can provide support for humanitarian assistance and conflict resolution.
- In the letter to the Biden administration, the Armenian Caucus called Azerbaijan’s actions this week “the most egregious escalation of their genocidal campaign against Armenians to date.”
- “Despite failing to prevent this horrific tragedy from occurring, the international community still has time to prevent the massacre or exile of the 120,000 Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the letter reads. “The United Nations must act swiftly to implement independent monitoring on the ground in Nagorno-Karabakh and provide guaranteed protections to prevent the further bloodshed of innocent civilians and ensure the safety and security of Armenians in the region.”