According to Azerbaijani media reports that the US "apologized" for protests by American citizens in Los Angeles against Azerbaijan's aggression, Los Angeles City Councilor Paul Krekorian officially requested a response from the US Ambassador to that country.
Protests against the aggression took place around the world after Azerbaijan attacked Armenian border villages last month. In some places, including Los Angeles, Azerbaijani nationalists took provocative measures to disrupt the exercise of their constitutionally protected rights by Armenian-American and others.
According to Azerbaijani media reports, US Ambassador Lee Litzenberger belittled the Armenian-American citizens in the Azerbaijani State Department and blamed them for the "provocation" when they were exercising their first adjustment rights. These media reports also reported that the US ambassador alleged that local Los Angeles officials had also apologized – a claim that is utterly absurd and false. Particularly worrying was that the US ambassador allegedly assured this foreign government that "an investigation will be conducted into the matter and appropriate action will be taken".
In his letter to the ambassador, Councilor Krekorian called for clarification and / or a withdrawal from the ambassador, as there is little reason to believe that unsubstantiated reports from state-influenced Azerbaijani media are factual.
Councilor Krekorian wrote: “As the elected leader of the City of Los Angeles, I would be shocked and disturbed to learn that an ambassador to my country would comment or intervene in any way, let alone provide a final characterization, of an investigation by a local law enforcement agency within the United States through such an investigation. In addition … I would be deeply concerned if the US State Department or any of its ambassadors believed they (or any federal agency) had the authority to investigate events in Los Angeles that did not contain federal law. let alone take "reasonable action". Finally, I would certainly hope that no US Ambassador would ever apologize to a foreign government for the exercise of constitutional rights by Americans at home. "
Below is the full text of Councilor Krekorian's letter to.
Ambassador Lee Litzenberger Embassy of the United States of America 111 Azadlig AvenueAZ1007 Baku, Azerbaijan
Re: Los Angeles Protests for Peace Dear Ambassador Litzenberger:
As you may have heard, the Azerbaijani news website News.az reported a version of a conversation you allegedly had with Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov about the recent protests in Los Angeles.
This news site described your alleged comments as follows:
(1) You allegedly told Mr Khalafov that "there is irrefutable evidence that the recent provocation in Los Angeles was carried out by aggressive Armenian protesters"; (2) You allegedly expressed "deep regrets" about the incident;
(3) They allegedly alleged that "local law enforcement officials in Los Angeles apologized for the Armenian provocation there and for the fact that they were unable to stop them"; (4) You have allegedly given assurances to the State Department that "an investigation will be conducted into the matter and appropriate action taken"; and (5) You allegedly stressed that you will "raise the issues raised at this meeting before Washington, including the question of additional measures to ensure the security of Azerbaijan's diplomatic missions in the US".
I'm pretty sure that either the news site or the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry statement it relies on must exaggerate or misrepresent your statements. That is why I am writing to invite you to clarify the protocol.
The resumption of aggression by Azerbaijan in the Tavush border region has outraged many people around the world, leading to demonstrations in Los Angeles and elsewhere calling for an end to hostilities. Fortunately, such protests are a cherished part of American heritage and are fully protected by our constitution. However, in some places, including Los Angeles, there have been counter-protests from Azerbaijani nationalists that led to violence. There have also been many cases of racism, hate crimes and violence against Armenians and Armenian institutions.
As the elected leader of the City of Los Angeles, I would be shocked and disturbed to learn that an ambassador to my country would comment on or intervene in any way, let alone achieve a definitive characterization, about an investigation by a local law enforcement agency in the United States. In addition, it would be outrageously inappropriate for an ambassador to my country to make it his business to actually speak on behalf of a local law enforcement agency, particularly those I and my colleagues oversee. I would be deeply concerned if the US State Department or any of its ambassadors believed they (or any federal agency) had the power to "investigate" incidents in Los Angeles that contain no federal law, let alone take "appropriate action" . Finally, I would certainly hope that no US ambassador would ever apologize to a foreign government for the domestic exercise of constitutional rights by Americans.
I would appreciate your response to this news report, and I would appreciate your correction of anything that has been misinterpreted in relation to your statements. More importantly, I ask for your confirmation that the United States government has no role, directly or indirectly, to influence this ongoing investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department or any action that may be taken as a result of this investigation .
Councilor, Second District Council