Kim Kardashian calls on Biden to stop violence against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijan has denied allegations that ethnic Armenians in the territory are facing ethnic cleansing

American businesswoman and media star Kim Kardashian is of Armenian descent. Getty / AFP
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Kim Kardashian called on US President Joe Biden on Friday to intervene in the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory – located between Azerbaijan and Armenia – urging him to stop “another genocide”.

“The collective silence or inaction by individuals, governments and government organisations like the United Nations and European Union has perpetuated the crisis,” the businesswoman and reality TV star wrote in a Rolling Stone op-ed with Armenian activist Eric Esrailian.

“Every passing day puts more lives in danger.”

The Skims owner, who is of Armenian descent, has been firm supporter of Armenia, travelling to Yerevan in 2019 in support of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. In 2020, she announced a $1 million donation to the Armenia Fund.

“We are the descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors, and we do not want to be talking about the recognition or commemoration of yet another genocide in the future,” Kardashian wrote.

Her comments come as a humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in the territory.

Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Artsakh, is internationally recognised as a part of Azerbaijan, despite housing a majority ethnic Armenian population.

The region was at the centre of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, during which more than 7,000 soldiers and civilians were killed.

Azerbaijan has blockaded the region since December of last year and installed a military checkpoint at the critical Lachin Corridor.

The UN Security Council discussed the blockade in August, after a former International Criminal Court prosecutor said the blockade may amount to a “genocide” against Armenians. Lawyers representing Azerbaijan called the claims unsubstantiated and inaccurate.

The International Association of Genocide Scholars also recently warned of the risk of genocide against the Armenian population in the region.

“As citizens, we are appealing to leaders such as President Biden, Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken and their colleagues to take a stand immediately,” Kardashian wrote.

“They must pressure Azerbaijan to open the corridor without preconditions.”

Mr Blinken expressed concern over the situation in a phone call last week with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

He “reiterated our call to reopen the Lachin Corridor to humanitarian, commercial and passenger traffic, while recognising the importance of additional routes from Azerbaijan”, the State Department said in a statement.

Updated: September 09, 2023, 4:41 AM