Washington D.C. – The Armenian Assembly of America, the largest, non-partisan Armenian-American advocacy organization in the United States, sent two of its team members to Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) for a first-hand assessment of the situation on the ground in the aftermath of the six-week war. Upon their return today to Armenia, the organization released the following statement:
“Since the halt earlier this month of the Azeri military assault on the people of Artsakh, the Armenian Assembly has been concerned about the humanitarian impact on the Armenian people. For the last four days two of our staff members have been traveling throughout Stepanakert, meeting with individuals and organizations on the ground during this latest upheaval.
During their travel, Arpi Vartanian, Yerevan-based Regional Director and Mariam Khaloyan, DC-based Congressional Relations Director, have witnessed first-hand how the people have been affected and how they are coping. They also witnessed how extensively the infrastructure of Artsakh has been damaged by the weeks-long Azeri shelling of the city. Thousands have died in combat and upwards of one hundred thousand have been displaced from their homes. The intentional shelling of residential areas, marketplaces, and critical infrastructure have left the city with significant long-term challenges.
Their on-the-ground visit comes as the Assembly and Members of Congress advocate for robust U.S. assistance to help the Armenian people, as well as for the U.S. to assert its leadership within the OSCE Minsk Group to ensure the security and safety of the Armenian people and a just resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
Arpi Vartanian, the Assembly’s Yerevan-based Regional Director and Mariam Khaloyan, the DC-based Congressional Relations Director, visited the following individuals, organizations, and sites while in Artsakh from November 21-24.
· Artsakh Foreign Minister, Masis Mayilyan
· Artsakh State Minister, Grigory Martirosyan
· Artsakh Human Rights Ombudsman, Artak Beglaryan
· Artsakh Presidential Advisor, Davit Babayan
· Ashot Ghulyan, former President of the National Assembly of Artsakh
· The HALO Trust, an international NGO focused on de-mining and humanitarian efforts
· Holy Mother of God Cathedral, where approximately 120 people sheltered for 45 days
· Stepanakert War Memorial, dedicated to victims the Armenian Genocide, World War II, and the Artsakh War
· Stepanakert Electric Networks Administrative Building
· Dadivank Monastery