Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: SoCal Armenians call for end to violence in peaceful protest

Meanwhile, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi says the US deplores recent attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia.

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ByAmy Powell via KABC logo
Monday, September 19, 2022
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As Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi says the U.S. deplores recent attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia, Armenian Americans in Southern California are also calling an end to the violence.

WEST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi says the United States deplores recent attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia, and has called for a negotiated solution to the countries' conflict.

Pelsoi visited Armenia with a congressional delegation after two days of shelling by both sides that killed more than 200 troops.

It was the largest outbreak of hostilities in more than two years.

The two ex-Soviet countries have been locked in a decades-old conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is part of Azerbaijan but was long under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994.

On Sunday, the Southern California Armenian American community took to the streets of west Los Angeles, demanding an end to the violence.

Protestors peacefully rallied in front of the Consulate General of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Dozens of protestors surrounded the office, holding flags and signs, showing support. They believe Azerbaijan is responsible for the unprovoked attacks.

"Before this specific breakout of war, there was also a war that occurred in 2020 and a 4-day war that occurred 2016 in which both times Azerbaijan did attack Armenians ... this is not a two-sided problem," said protestor Tenny Alaverdian.

Pelosi on Sunday met with Alen Simonyan, president of Armenia's parliament, and told reporters afterward that "Our meeting again had a particular importance to us because the focus was on security following the illegal and deadly attacks by Azerbaijan on the Armenian territory.

"We strongly condemn those attacks - we in our delegation on behalf of Congress - which threaten prospects for a much-needed peace agreement," she said. "The United States ... has clearly and has long stated that there can be no military solution to the conflict. We continue to watch the situation closely and we continue supporting a negotiated, comprehensive and sustainable solution to all issues relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict."

The Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry sharply criticized her comments.

"Pelosi's baseless and unfair accusations against Azerbaijan are unacceptable," it said in a statement.

"We emphasize with regret that Pelosi, who speaks of justice, has not purposefully shown any position until today regarding the policy of aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, the occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan for almost 30 years, the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis and other similar grave crimes, for which Armenia is responsible," the ministry said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.