MONTEBELLO, Calif. - As the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues to unfold, city officials in Los Angeles are speaking up to decry the violence in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, which is now at the center of fighting after a 25 year ceasefire.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, along with Senator Bob Archuleta, and Montebello City Councilmember Jack Hadjinian held a news conference Wednesday in front of the Armenian Genocide Martyrs Memorial in Montebello to condemn the attacks by Azerbaijan and its allies against Armenia and Artsakh, and call for an immediate peaceful resolution.
"We condemn the attacks by the Azerbaijan and its allies against the Armenian people. I stand with you to call on the Turkish forces to immediately put an end to their violence and aggression,” stated LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
The Armenian Genocide Martyrs Memorial was built in 1968. Montebello is home to one of the oldest and largest Armenian-American communities.
Montebello has a sister city relationship with Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh.
“There was a war fought over that territory in the early 90’s, since then there was a ceasefire for 25 years, and the whole generation changed,” said Emil Aanamyan with USC’s Armenian institute.
Azerbaijan’s president says his country will not stop until Armenians leave the region. Nagorno-Karabakh lies inside Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia for more than a quarter-century.
“What is difficult to understand is that the elected leaders of this city always choose to side with one committee’s views. So I think they would play a more concerned and balanced role if they also take into consideration the views of other diaspora communities,” said Can Oguz with the Turkish Consulate of Los Angeles.
“This conflict could have gone one way and it’s now going a different way, it could have gone towards a resolution but now it’s going towards a dead end,” Aanamyan added.
Local rallies and protests continue… as Los Angeles is home to the largest community of Armenians outside of the country of Armenia.