US Congressional delegation visits Armenia amid growing concerns for Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh

YEREVAN — The United States Embassy in Armenia officially confirmed that a US Congressional delegation led by Senator Gary Peters (D-??), has arrived in Armenia. The primary objective of their visit is to engage in high-level meetings with Armenian officials and assess the prevailing conditions and challenges faced by the Armenian community.

International apprehension has increased over the well-being of the Armenian population residing in Nagorno-Karabakh. Fears of potential human rights violations have escalated following Azerbaijan’s recent military take-over of the region.

Senator Peters, at the helm of the American Congressional delegation, is leading efforts to closely monitor the humanitarian situation. The delegation’s visit signifies the commitment of the United States to stay apprised of the ongoing developments and extend support to the Armenian people.

Peters has already held a meeting with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Pashinyan emphasized the significance of the United States’ unwavering support in navigating the multifaceted challenges currently confronting Armenia.

Peters expressed deep concern regarding the dire humanitarian situation unfolding in Nagorno-Karabakh. He accentuated the urgent necessity for the delivery of humanitarian aid encompassing essential provisions such as food, medications, and vital supplies. Peters also shared his firsthand observations from his visits to the Syunik and Vayots Dzor provinces within Armenia and reaffirmed the United States’ unequivocal support for the preservation of Armenia’s territorial integrity.

Children in a shelter during Azerbaijani shelling Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh on 20 September 2023. (Image: Siranush Sargsyan / AP)

Furthermore, a bipartisan coalition, comprised of over 40 members of the US Congress, issued an urgent appeal to American President Joe Biden imploring him to take decisive action within the United Nations Security Council to initiate the establishment of a dedicated peacekeeping mission. The mission’s principal objective would be to safeguard the Armenian Christian population in Nagorno-Karabakh and prevent the potential ethnic cleansing of the region, which appears to be underway.

In parallel, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan has called upon the United Nations to deploy a specialized mission to the region. The mission would be tasked with meticulously monitoring human rights conditions, aiming to forestall any violations against the Armenian population, particularly following Azerbaijan’s assumption of control over the region.

American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken likewise weighed in on the matter, urging Azerbaijan to fully respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Armenians residing in the region.

Amid the chorus of international reactions, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a plea to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, calling for adherence to the ceasefire agreement and a steadfast commitment to diplomatic negotiations in addressing the underlying issues.

Armenians residing in Nagorno-Karabakh conveyed their dire predicament, describing themselves as being trapped in the region, grappling with severe shortages of food, electricity, and fuel. In their distress, they have issued an urgent appeal to major global powers, urging them to intervene and provide essential assistance during these trying times.