The Nagorno Karabakhby Representative John P. Sarbanes
Posted on 2013-03-13
in the house of representatives
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Speaker, peace and stability in the Caucuses is in
the national interest of the United States and our European allies.
That means achieving a peaceful resolution to the rising tensions
between the peoples of Armenia and Azerbaijan. A final status of the
Nagorno Karabakh dispute must be achieved without resorting to war and
must be in keeping with democratic principles, the rule of law and the
protection of individual human rights.
Decades of Soviet rule and the continuing dispute over Nagorno Karabakh have decimated the economy of Armenia. In stark contrast, Azerbaijan now enjoys a growing economy from the extraction of natural resources. This economic imbalance is further aggravated by the fact that both Turkey and Azerbaijan have sealed their borders with Armenia, with Azerbaijan pursuing an aggressive military build-up.
The United States must continue to press for resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh dispute through the good offices and mechanisms of international actors such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We must be ever vigilant in decrying actions that undermine such efforts. I concur with the Obama administration's demand for an explanation of Azerbaijan's pardoning of Ramil Safarov. Azerbaijan's decision to pardon Ramil Safarov after he was convicted by a Hungarian court for the murder of an Armenian soldier while participating in NATO's Partnership for Peace program is not only unconscionable, it is a direct affront to NATO and its efforts to bring peace and stability to conflict regions through the Partnership for Peace program.