Thousands in Los Angeles protest hostilities against Armenia
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Thousands of people protested in Los Angeles on Sunday to denounce the role played by Azerbaijan and Turkey in the hostilities against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh separatist region.
The protest came after Azerbaijan and Armenia accused each other of violating a Russia-brokered ceasefire agreement that went into effect on Saturday afternoon. The agreement stipulated that the ceasefire should pave the way for talks to resolve the conflict.
Crowds gathered in front of the Turkish consulate in California's largest city on Sunday afternoon, waving Armenian flags, singing and displaying signs that read “Peace for Armenians”. Groups used to gather along the streets, some climbing cars to wave banners.
The demonstrations appeared to be largely peaceful.
Southern California is home to the largest Armenian population in the United States, and a neighborhood in East Hollywood was named Little Armenia in 2000.
The most recent fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces began on September 27, killing hundreds in the largest escalation of the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh conflict since the end of a separatist war in 1994. The region is located in Azerbaijan, but it has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces supported by Armenia. Armenians refer to it as Artsakh.
Turkey supports Azerbaijan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said: "Our Azerbaijani brothers are now waiting for the day when they will return to their country."
As protesters gathered on Sunday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted in support and enclosed a letter from a group of mayors across the country calling on the United States to defuse the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Contribute to tensions in conflict.
"We welcome the ceasefire and it must be respected," Garcetti tweeted. "We need our national leadership to strengthen peace in the region (and). Turkey has to break up."
Thousands recently blocked highways in the Los Angeles area, gathered in front of CNN and the Los Angeles Times buildings and demonstrated in front of the Azerbaijani consulate, the Los Angeles Times previously reported. Several Armenian Americans have returned to the region to volunteer for their homeland.
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