Dr John Eibner, International President of Christian Solidarity International (CSI), a Christian religious rights organization, and Baroness Caroline Cox, a member of the UK House of Lords, issued the following statement on 2 November 2020:
“We call on all members of the American-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and Israel to suspend the provision of all lethal and non-lethal military supplies and technical assistance to Azerbaijan until the ultra-nationalistic dictatorship in Baku renounces the use of violence against the Armenian Christians of Nagorno Karabakh, and recognizes the right of that besieged community to self-determination.
Conditions currently exist for the extinction of the Karabakh Armenian Christian community. Urgent action must therefore be taken to prevent genocide and protect threatened victims, as is required of all members of the United Nations on the basis of the Genocide Convention of 1948 and other international instruments.
We issue this appeal five weeks after Azerbaijan, an Associate Member of NATO, launched a military offensive against the Armenian Christians of Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan has been systematically attacking civilian targets, including Stepanakert’s Maternity Hospital and the Armenian Orthodox Cathedral at Shushi. Its troops have also executed captured civilians. Over half of Nagorno Karabakh’s 150,000 civilians have been forced by this offensive to flee their homes. Unless it is cut short, the current ethnic/religious cleansing will take the character of a full-blown genocide.
Azerbaijan is supported in this anti-Armenian war first and foremost by Turkey – a member of NATO – and by Turkish-backed Syrian jihadists. Azerbaijan’s Turkish ally is openly pursuing the goal of reviving the Ottoman Caliphate as a Great Power, stretching from the Mediterranean to Central Asia. NATO states, Israel, and Russia are also supplying Azerbaijan with arms and technical support. Sophisticated Israeli weaponry, especially drones, and NATO armaments and training have given Azerbaijan a strong military advantage. Azerbaijan has also been deploying cluster bombs and Smerch missiles, in violation of international conventions. This anti-Armenian military constellation has enabled Azerbaijan to press deep into Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbjaijani troops are now within striking distance of the capital Stepanakert and the Lachin Corridor – Nagorno Karabakh’s lifeline to neighbouring Armenia – and are engaging in ethnic/religious cleansing as they advance on the ground.
We urge all who wish to prevent genocide and to protect the existentially threatened Armenian Christian community in Karabakh – be they individuals, civil society institutions or member states of the UN – to support this appeal. Doing so will enhance the security not only of the Armenian Christians of Nagorno Karabakh, but of all the peoples of the instable Caucasus and neighbouring countries, regardless of ethnicity or religion.”
The Baroness Cox and John Eibner are the authors of Ethnic Cleansing in Progress: War in Nagorno Karabakh. This report on the last attempt by Azerbaijan to drive the Armenian Christians of Nagorno Karabakh out of their ancient homeland as the Soviet Union collapsed is based on historical research and on-the-spot fact-finding between 1990 and 1994. The Baroness Cox is an Independent Member of the House of Lords and the Founder and CEO of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART). John Eibner is International President of Christian Solidarity International (CSI).