ANCA Welcomes RFK Jr Statement Calling on U.S. to Advance Rights of Artsakh Armenians to Self-Determination and Safe Return to Homeland

  • 08.01.2024
  • 0
  • 145 Views

— “I want to commit this country to the restoration of the sovereignty of Armenia and Artsakh and to the restoration of its territory.” – Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. pledged that his administration would mobilize the international community to sanction Azerbaijan, secure the safe return of Armenians to their Artsakh homeland, and support their right to self-determination, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a 2.5-minute video statement titled “RFK Jr. On How to Avert War in Armenia,” the presidential candidate stressed, “I want to commit this country to the restoration of the sovereignty of Armenia and Artsakh, and to the restoration of its territory. Instead of starting another war somewhere, I want to stop one.”

The video is posted on RFK Jr’s 2024 presidential campaign YouTube channel and is also available on the ANCA YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/vFvazHKR9Ts

“Empty condemnations of this ethnic cleansing campaign are not enough. Unlike the 1915 genocide, this one is reversible,” stressed RFK, Jr., who went on to note: “The U.S. government needs to organize and mobilize the global community to take action to ensure the safe return of Armenians to Artsakh and to defend their right to self-determination. This is a situation where peaceful sanctions could actually work. The U.S. still has leverage in that region, and it can use that power to mobilize all of the nations in that region to reverse this humanitarian tragedy. We should also seek the removal of the blockades in Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Armenia is a landlocked nation, and it needs access to ports and to the surrounding countries.”

“The ANCA welcomes Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s calls to sanction Azerbaijan and support the rights of Artsakh Armenians to self-determination and a safe return to their ancestral homeland,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive director of the ANCA. “More broadly, we value his emergence as a viable third 2024 option for Armenian American voters, especially given that two of the most likely major party candidates, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, both armed Azerbaijan’s genocide of Artsakh’s Christian Armenians.”

RFK Jr. is the latest 2024 U.S. presidential candidate to outline his position on Armenian American concerns dealing with Artsakh and Armenia.  Last month, Republican presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley joined with Vivek Ramaswamy in forcefully condemning Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh at The FAMiLY Leader Thanksgiving candidate forum in Iowa.  The high-profile program was co-sponsored by the 120,000 Reasons Coalition, supported by the ANCA, united in exerting pressure on the White House, Congress, and the 2024 Presidential candidates to break U.S. official silence on Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian aggression.

Ramaswamy has been especially outspoken in spotlighting Azerbaijan’s forced displacement of Artsakh’s Armenians on the campaign trail, discussing the matter with Tucker Carlson and Piers Morgan, and attending a 120,000 Reasons protest organized by the ANCA Eastern Region and AYF Eastern Region on the eve of the GOP presidential candidates’ debate in Miami, Florida. He recently attended an Armenian reception at Armenian Estates, in Genoa Township, OH, hosted by Tigran and Viola Safaryan and Steve and Erna Atikian. Longtime ANC-Ohio leader David Krikorian introduced Ramaswamy at the event, which was attended by Armenian Americans from across the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland areas.  RFK Jr. will join supporters of Armenia and Artsakh at a reception hosted by Mike Sarian on January 8th in California.

The full text of RFK, Jr.’s statement is provided below.

#####

Transcript of “RFK Jr. on How to Avert War in Armenia”

Video Statement Issued December 28, 2023

Over a hundred years ago, during World War I, the Ottoman Empire perpetrated the first genocide of the modern era, when it murdered a million and a half ethnic Armenians. That ethnic cleansing wiped out thousands of years of Armenian presence in Anatolia.

Today, the oldest of all Armenian territories is now the victim of an ethnic cleansing campaign. This time, it’s Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

During the Soviet era, the Kremlin forcibly incorporated this Christian territory into Muslim Azerbaijan. Artsakh had been Orthodox Christian and Armenian for over a thousand years. It has one of the oldest, most beautiful cathedrals in the world.

Beginning in 2020, Azerbaijan ruthlessly launched an ethnic cleansing campaign against this peaceful and peace-loving people. It systematically bombarded population centers with cluster bombs and missiles. And in September, Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked invasion and expelled all 120,000 ethnic Armenians.

While the world was focused on Gaza and Israel with indignation and outrage from every direction, we heard almost nothing about this mass expulsion of the entire population of one of the oldest Armenian states on the planet.

Empty condemnations of this ethnic cleansing campaign are not enough. Unlike the 1915 genocide, this one is reversible.

The U.S. government needs to organize and mobilize the global community to take action to ensure the safe return of Armenians to Artsakh and to defend their right to self-determination.  This is a situation where peaceful sanctions could actually work. The U.S. still has leverage in that region, and it can use that power to mobilize all of the nations in that region to reverse this humanitarian tragedy.  We should also seek the removal of the blockades in Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan. Armenia is a landlocked nation and it needs access to ports and to the surrounding countries.

As President of the United States, I will use diplomacy, our moral authority, our economic leverage, and sanctions to restore Armenia to a nation of peace and justice. I want to commit this country to the restoration of the sovereignty of Armenia and Artsakh and to the restoration of its territory.  I want to do this peacefully. Instead of starting another war somewhere, I’d like to stop one.

OUR PARTNERS

ORER ARMENIAN EUROPEAN MAGAZINE
connect with us: