As heavy fighting continues between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to pen a letter in support of a House resolution that officially condemns Azerbaijan’s military operations and supports Armenians.
The move comes after county supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn introduced a motion Tuesday and was approved unanimously, greenlighting the board to send a five-signature letter in support of bipartisan House Resolution 1165, which Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, introduced Oct. 1.
The resolution “condemns Azerbaijan’s military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region also known as Artsakh, and denounces Turkey’s participation in the conflict” and reaffirm “U.S. support of efforts to secure an agreement from Azerbaijan to cease military operations against Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia.”
“The atrocities in Armenia at the hands of Azerbaijan and Turkey feel too familiar, and we will not stand by while innocent lives are taken and property is destroyed,” said Barger in a statement. “Armenians deserved peace a century ago — and they deserve it today.”
Over the past three weeks, Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have engaged in a deadly fight over Nagorno-Karabakh, a region recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but occupied and controlled by Armenians. The conflict is considered the most aggressive since the signing of the cease-fire agreement between the two nations in 1994.
On Thursday, Tural Ganjaliyev, the elected representative of the Azerbaijani population in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, said in a video message that Armenia has removed the traces of Azerbaijani people and altered their culture.
“We believe that after the return to our lands we will restore the destroyed historical and cultural monuments. We are ready to live peacefully with the Armenian community of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he said.
A 2019 report in the art journal Hyperallergic highlighted that the Azerbaijani government had engaged in erasing Armenian heritage via destruction of medieval churches, cross-stones and tombstones over the course of 30 years.
Calls for peace have errupted across Southern California, including a demonstration in Santa Clarita on Saturday, where hundreds of local Armenians gathered with local elected officials outside City Hall to denounce the violence and raise awareness to what they believe is a potential repeat of the 1915 Armenian genocide.
Los Angeles County is home to the largest Armenian population outside of Armenia itself, according to the motion.