ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - As President Trump arrived in Orange County Sunday afternoon to attend an event, the Armenian community and supporters held a rally demanding Trump sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan and stop funding war crimes with US tax dollars.
The large rally was held at Lido Park in Newport Beach. The president is attending a private fundraiser at tech mogul Palmer Luckey's Newport Beach estate.
The Armenian community says they are calling on President Trump and his administration to stop the genocide against Christian Armenians, sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan and stop funding Azeri war crimes with US tax dollars.
“Because this is a global issue, it’s not an Armenian issue, our US taxpayer money is being used to aid a terrorist nation who is attacking Armenia and Artsakh. And we are trying to stop our money from going there,” said one Orange County resident who attended the rally.
“President Trump should completely defund and sanction Turkey and Azerbaijan right now.” said Los Angeles Resident Vee Nalbandyan.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region has called on R. Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, to suspend all drone-related and military or dual use equipment or technology sales to Turkey, due to their involvement of aiding Azerbaijan in their war against Artsakh and Armenia.
Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan is reportedly planning to visit Washington DC this month to speak with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Details about his visit have yet to be announced.
Heavy fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan continues for a third week over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh (also known as Artsakh).
Turkey has publicly backed Azerbaijan in the conflict and vowed to help it reclaim its territory.
Attempts of a second ceasefire were violated Sunday, just hours after Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a humanitarian truce.
Armenian military officials reported artillery shelling and missile strikes by Azerbaijani forces in the conflict zone overnight.
Hundreds have been killed, infrastructure has been destroyed and residents of Artsakh have been displaced since fighting began on Sept. 27.