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State lawmaker condemns Azerbaijan amid ongoing conflict with Armenia

Posted at 8:44 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 20:53:31-04

LANSING, Mich. — A Michigan state lawmaker has introduced a resolution condemning Azerbaijan’s aggression in the country’s reignited conflict with Armenia.

Rep. Mari Manoogian, D-Birmingham, introduced House Resolution 319 on Wednesday, which also denounced Turkey for its alleged involvement and called upon the U.S. State Department to facilitate peace negotiations in the area.

“Azerbaijan and their Turkish allies are engaging in offensive military operations against Nagorno-Karabakh during the middle of a global pandemic, against the pleas of the United Nations Secretary-General,” Manoogian said.

Wednesday marks the 11th day of fighting in the area of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Ethnic Armenians control the area, but it rests in internationally recognized Azerbaijani-territory.

Recent military fighting has left hundreds dead and put thousands of civilians in danger, threatening the stability of the region.

Turkey's role in the conflict has become a subject of dispute, with the Turkish government denying direct involvement.

“They have chosen to attack civilian targets – including schools, hospitals, and threatening to attack a nuclear power plant within the borders of Armenia. These illegal actions must be denounced loudly and immediately. I introduced this resolution to show that the State of Michigan stands in solidarity with the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and of Armenia against the violence of Azerbaijan and their Turkish allies,” Manoogian added.

Several U.S. lawmakers have addressed the violence in the region.

Rep. Haley Stevens, D-Michigan co-sponsored a resolution urging Azerbaijan to adhere to a cease-fire.

Senator Gary Peters, D-Michigan, suggested the US should suspend security assistance to Azerbaijan and called on the President to engage with Turkish leaders.

At a press conference Monday, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California said, “We have a strong bipartisan message for Turkey and Erdogan; You’re a member of NATO, start acting like one. And we have a message for Azerbaijan; cease the hostilities or there will be consequences.”

Meanwhile, Armenian-Americans in several U.S. cities have held demonstrations calling for peace in the region, including in Detroit Wednesday.

Azerbaijan’s government has denied targeting civilians and have accused Armenia of being the aggressor.

Azerbaijan's Presidential Aide Hikmet Hajiyev, accused Armenian forces of attacking “densely populated civilian areas."

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry dismissed allegations as a “disinformation campaign” by Azerbaijan.

The Associated Press reports Iran, which borders both countries, is working on a peace plan for the two.