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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman David Cicilline (1st Congressional District of Rhode Island)

PAWTUCKET – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement today:

“Today as Secretary Pompeo prepares to meet with the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, he should know that there is a strong historical case to be made for Artsakh’s Independence. This land has been part of historical Armenia and populated by Armenians for thousands of years. An early cradle of Christianity, its landscape is covered in churches and monasteries, built hundreds of years ago. These are the same churches that are being bombed and shelled today by the Azerbaijani military.”

“There is, as well, a compelling legal argument for Artsakh’s liberty, one based on international law and the commonly accepted principles of democratic self-determination. But, today, Artsakh’s most urgent claim to independence is one of survival. Now entering the fourth week of Azerbaijan’s brutal attacks, the citizens of Artsakh are left sheltering against a rain of illegal cluster-bombs, they know that any return to Azerbaijani control will exile them from their historic homeland.”

“If Azerbaijan ever had a claim to Artsakh, based on Soviet gerrymandering or any other tenuous assertion of sovereignty, they have today, by their own actions, forfeited any such rights. Each bomb launched, each bullet shot, each drone attack targeting the civilians of Artsakh strengthens this democratic Republic’s already strong case for freedom.”

“With history and international law already on the side of Artsakh recognition, we see today that this proud land’s very survival depends on United States and international recognition of the independent status of the Artsakh Republic. For this reason, I join with my Congressional colleagues in calling for full and formal United States recognition of Artsakh.”