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Urgent

An Open Letter to US Ambassador to Armenia Lynne M. Tracy from FLEX Alumni of Armenia

The United States should act against the aggression of Azerbaijan, Turkey and international terrorist groups as a matter of responsibility to protect the Armenian people

 

Dear Ambassador Tracy,

 

When FLEX finalists are selected from Armenia to start their exchange year in the United States, we are told to be responsible citizens not only of our country but also the world. As FLEX students, we were often told that we are ambassadors of Armenian culture in the United States and of American culture in Armenia. Living up to the civic and moral standards taught by the FLEX program, granted the status of intercultural ambassadors, we are obliged to urge you to act when a US agency is existentially important, though lacking.

 

We call upon you, as the ambassador of the United States to Armenia, to urge your government of the United States to condemn the thoroughly preplanned military aggression against the peaceful population of Nagorno Karabakh/Artsakh and Armenia by Azerbaijan, NATO member Turkey and terrorists which the United States has been fighting for years. This aggression has triggered a deadly and devastating war, amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, threatening not only regional security, but also global peace, democracy and stability.

 

Almost a century ago, Armenia faced a similar humanitarian disaster of the Armenian Genocide, and Americans did what made America so great. The American Near East Relief saved thousands of Armenian lives. Today our generation faces a similar danger. Right now, the generations of those who were miraculously and heroically saved by the American people are facing an equal threat.

 

Firstly, Azerbaijan has initiated unprovoked hostilities against Armenia and Artsakh. This was not unexpected. The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, openly shared Armenophobic statements during the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, calling Armenia a terrorist country that is against peace, while himself inviting terrorists to the border of Nagorno Karabakh. As proud representatives of American and Armenian values, we understand that this war was initiated by the dictatorial leadership of Azerbaijan and Turkey, and not by the people of Azerbaijan, among which are our fellow FLEX alumni, who could also benefit from freedom and democracy that the United States is capable of helping to nurture, a bond which could also prevent further war in our region.       

 

Secondly, the NATO member Turkey is not only directly and militarily involved in the war, but also recruits terrorist rebel fighters from Syria and Libya to fight against the Armenian people, both in Nagorno Karabakh and in Armenia. During our exchange years many of us were taken to 9/11 Memorial in New York City, and were taught about the threat that terrorism poses to all that is American. Today, various international news outlets, including CNN, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Reuters and various government officials including French President Emmanuel Macron and intelligence services of several countries, confirm the truthfulness of these statements. On the other hand, the United States, the global leader of the fight against terrorism of the alliance of democracy, stays quiet. The de-jure unrecognized Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh has become the main power in the fight against terrorism in our region and is preventing its further expansion.

 

Thirdly, in gross violation of international humanitarian law and human rights, Azerbaijan and Turkey are targeting civilians, key civilian infrastructure and journalists. From September 27 to October 5, 20 civilian casualties, 93 wounded, and over 5,800 damaged properties and key civilian infrastructures in Artsakh, as reported by the Human Rights Defender of Artsakh. As a result of Azerbaijani aggression, over 50% of the population of Nagorno Karabakh (75,000 children, women, elderly) had to leave their homes. These facts clearly represent the wishes of the Azerbaijani government, which is to displace or destroy the Armenian population who inhabit the territories of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

 

Azerbaijan’s targeted attacks on civilian infrastructures in Nagorno-Karabakh resulted in heavy injuries, among them several local and international journalists. Particularly, a reporter from the French Le Monde, Allan Kaval, and a Russian reporter Yuriy Kotenok, editor-in-chief of Segodnya.ru had to go through immediate medical surgery.

 

Lastly, in 2006 when the Armenian Jugha cemetery was completely destroyed in Azerbaijan the world was silently mourning, if at all. Today, Azerbaijan continues the cultural genocide of the Armenian heritage in Nagorno Karabakh. A preservation of incomparable archeological significance, the city of Tigranakert, dated back to the 1st-century BC, is under consistent shelling. On the 8th of October, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces double shelled the Saint Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi, a place of pilgrimage and a national symbol to Armenians from around the world.

 

As FLEX alumni, carrying the values of democracy, responsible citizenship and human rights, we are obliged to raise our voice in protest and to appeal to you and the government of the United States in order to:

 

  1.  Refrain from both-siding in its calls and statements to end hostilities, while even the leadership of Azerbaijan does not try to hide its engagement in the offensive.
  2. Immediately suspend all military cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey until further investigation regarding the use of American technology and taxpayers’ money against the civilian population and other abuses of human rights.
  3. Thoroughly investigate the infiltration of terrorists by Azerbaijan and Turkey, in line with other world leaders and international media․
  4. Apply sanctions against those states and relevant politicians that have been engaged in the recruitment of terrorists and stand behind the gross violations of international humanitarian law against the civilian population of Artsakh.
  5. Restore the Section 907, U.S. Ban on Aid to Azerbaijan until Azerbaijan takes demonstrable steps to cease offensive uses of force against Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
  6. Employ all leverages at the disposal of the US government to stop Turkey’s meddling and its political, military, financial and criminal role in the hazardous escalation of war.
  7. Take immediate measures to organize and provide humanitarian aid to the children, women and elderly of Artsakh who found refuge in Armenia and the civilians suffering under the daily and deliberate shelling in the towns and villages of Nagorno Karabakh.
  8. Consider the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination based on their claim of remedial secession as the only possible guarantee that can ensure their fundamental right to life. This is an aspect of utmost importance, once more proven by the actions of the Azerbaijani state against the civilian population and the recruitment of terrorists against them.
  9.  We urge the American government to take immediate actions in coherence with global human rights. We hope the efforts of your noble ancestors in giving a helping hand to the Armenian genocide survivors will not be wasted, and that your decisive moves will prevent further tragedies.

 

Regards,

 

FLEX Alumni of Armenia

 

(The letter is an individual initiative of FLEX Alumni and does not represent the opinion of the American Councils and FLEX Alumni Program in Armenia)

 

Yuri Ghazaryan

Anna Hovhannisyan

Vanesa Grigoryan

Donara Davtyan

Gayane Khachikyan

Lilit Nersisyan

Meri Vardanyan

Anzhelika Harutyunyan

Argishti Yeghyan

Tatev Kyosababyan

Narek Sahakyan

Syuzanna Grigoryan

Hasmik Haroyan

Ida Yolchyan

Leyli Tadevosyan

Lida Asilyan

Kristine Hambardzumyan

Taguhi Oganesyan

Alla Harutyunyan

Anush Margaryan

Anzhelika Minasyan Sevak

Lilit Yeghiazaryan

Areg Aghajanyan

Susanna Ghazoyan

Mariam Grigoryan

Anahit Sukiasyan

Lilit Khlghatyan

Narine Baghdasaryan

Anzhela Karapetyan

Arusyak Poghosyan

Anna Andreasyan

Narek Sukiasyan

Lilia Mamikonyan

Susanna Avagyan

Nare Patatanyan

Kima Grigoryan

Tatevik Gishyan

Rima Marutyan

Anna Nikoghosyan

Meri Torosyan

Nane Vardanyan

Nane Avedikian

Gohar Minasyan

Ani Ivanyan

Zoya Galstyan

Ani Avanesyan

Lilit Navasardyan

Anna Serobyan

Hripsime Manukyan

Ashkhen Arakelyan

Larisa Aslanyan

Mane Gevorgyan

Zhenya Ghukasyan

Diana Hovhannisyan

Lusya Manukyan

Davit Karapetyan

Anna Martirosyan

Armen Ghukasyan

Diana Zakaryan

Yanina Husikyan

Erik Mkhitaryan

Lilit Ghazaryan

Elen Muradyan

Mane Hovhannisyan

Ani Arakelyan

Margarit Gasparyan

Armine Gasparyan

Milena Yeritsyan

Robert Sukiasyan

Tamara Harutyunyan

Lusine Avetisyan

Anaida Fahradyan

Mane Saroyan

Anahit Apresyan

Sona Vardanyan

Arman Azizyan

Nane Ohanyan

Sona Zakaryan

Hasmik Asatrian-Azoyan

Liana Karapetyan

Hovhannes Demirtshyan

Gayane Gasparyan

Diana Mayilyan

Gevorg Rashoyan

Armine Arakelyan

Satenik Simonian

Aregnaz Manukyan

Gayane Aghabalyan

Manik Khachatryan

Vahagn Azaryan

Sona Karapetyan

Andranik Gomtsyan

Tatevik Avagyan 

Bella Karapetyan

Astghik Melkonyan

Magda Markosyan

Nelly Harutyunyan

Ani Danielyan

Lusine Shahnazaryan

Aram Arakelyan

Inga Danielyan

Zina Hovhannisyan

Lida Asilyan

Anna Misakyan

Anna Nikoghosyan

Sona Nahapetyan

Vahan Abrahamyan

Lilit Yenokyan

Gohar Piliposyan

Azniv Tadevosyan

Jemma Tadevosyan

Nane Kostandyan

Hasmik Haroyan

Arthur Boynagryan

Anzhelika Minasyan

Liana Minasyan

Inesa Tonoyan

David Sirunyan

Marianna Ghazaryan

Norayr Amirkhanyan

Tatevik Davtyan

Sona Arustamyan

Meri Minasyan

Ani Shekoyan

Alina Babayan

Mariam Vardikyan

Anush Isoyan

Lilit Yeghiazaryan

Narek Martirosyan

Sonya Armaghanyan

Ani Aghajanyan

Anna Gharibyan

Lusine Mamikonyan

Alvard Mamikonyan

Lilit Vardanyan

Inna Mkrtchyan

Syuzeta Martirosyan

Vardan Grigoryan

Zhanna Mikayelyan

Lilit Nersisyan

Bella Harutyunyan

Arpi Baghdasaryan

Susanna Khachatryan

Armine Grigoryan

Gagik Klekchyan

Sonya Hakobyan

Anna Minasyan

Lilit Ghandilyan

Sona Tamazyan

Narek Davtyan

Yeva Gasparyan

Shushan Ghandilyan

Gohar Petrossian

Varduhi Yeghikyan

Karen Gishyan

Hripsime Zohrabyan

Nazeli Karapetyan

Anahit Tumanyan

Davit Avagyan

Mane Saroyan

Grigor Petrosyan

Arevik Danielyan

Syuzanna Kirakosyan

Lianna Hovhannisyan

Arpine Mkrtchyan

Khachatur Margaryan

Liana Tadevosyan

Lilit Babloyan

Natela Azoyan

Arman Asryan

Ani Gevorgyan

Sona Badalyan

Mariam Kilburn

Hovhannes Harutyunyan

Gevorg Rashoyan

Anush Shirvanyan

Hasmik Asatrian-Azoyan

Inna Mkrtchyan

Syuzanna Hovsepyan

Nina Kirakosyan

Hasmik Tonapetyan

Ashkhen Arakelyan

Diana Bayatyan

Meri Vardanyan

Khachatur Yeliazyan

Anush Arsenyan

Anahit Martirosyan Levon

Varduhi Yeghikyan

Shoghik Mkrtchyan

Sona Sardaryan

Anna Ayvazyan

Anahit Bagiryan

Khanum Gevorgyan

Lusine Poghosyan

Elza Galstyan

Anna Amatuni

Margarit Martirosyan

Artavazd Ganjalyan

Marietta Yesayan

Irina Balayan

Albert Arsenyan

Emanuela Avagyan

Anna Vardanyan

Astghik Gyurjinyan

Sergey Vardanyan

Lilit Khachatryan

Hasmik Ghazaryan

Nvard Melkonyan

Anush Poghosyan

Anita Zakaryan

Lilit Asatryan

Artur Grigoryan

Anna Atoyan

Anush Safaryan

Suzanna Shamakhyan

10 / 10 / 2020 15 : 45

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