Trump silence on Nagorno-Karabakh weighs on Armenian-American voters. #TheHill

11:45, Monday, 12 October, 2020
Trump silence on Nagorno-Karabakh weighs on Armenian-American voters. #TheHill

President Trump’s silence on a weeks-long conflict in the southern Caucasus is roiling the Armenian community in the U.S., which is expressing outrage over a lack of action by the administration.

The Armenian American community, which numbers about 1.5 million, has called for the president and Congress to condemn Azerbaijan for an outbreak of fighting last month in the contested territory of Nagorno-Karabakh that they view as part of their historic homeland.
     They are further outraged by Turkey’s interference in the conflict and the president's unwillingness to condemn Ankara.On Thursday, thousands of Armenian-Americans gathered outside the White House to protest the lack of action and urgency from Trump.
     “Even a single tweet from Trump calling for peace — and we’re not even talking about standing by or with Armenia at this point — talking about a call for peace, as simple as that. And even that is not happening,” said Arsen Kharatyan, who helped organize the protest.
     Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued a statement on September 29, two days after fighting erupted, saying Trump should call the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to insist on a ceasefire and condemn Turkey’s interference.
     While Trump joined a statement with France and Russia to call for an end to the fighting, he refrained from calling out Turkey as interfering in the conflict. Trump has cultivated a relationship with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
     “We’re encouraged by VP Biden calling out Turkey’s interference, Turkey is pouring fuel on the fire,” said Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
     “We have yet to see that from President Trump and that’s certainly something that many Armenians around the country are taking notice of.”
     The issue is unlikely to turn the presidential race, but it does have 2020 implications.

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