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To the Editor:

The Transcaucasian countries of Armenia and Azerbaijan are at war — and it is time the U.S. takes action to support Armenia and help end the conflict

I lived in Armenia for two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have learned to love the people there with my whole heart. The country has a long history full of triumphs and loss.

For example, The Ottoman Empire, present-day Turkey, carried out the mass murder of 1.5 million Armenians during the Armenian Genocide a little over 100 years ago. This is why there are more Armenians living outside of the country than inside. They escaped to avoid murder.

Artsakh, the territory over which Armenia and Azerbaijan are fighting, is home to Armenian monasteries that have stood centuries before Azerbaijan was a country. The territory was given to Azerbaijan during the Soviet Union, but broke away after the collapse of it. It is made up of and governed by Armenians. And yet the Azerbaijan government claims it as theirs. In addition, Turkey has vowed full support to Azerbaijan.

I do not condemn Azerbaijan or Turkey — just their governments. The land is and has always been Armenia’s. And the addition of that land to Azerbaijan, a much larger country, gives Azerbaijan no benefit.

Armenian Americans who moved to the U.S. during the Genocide have given so much to the world. They have invented the MRI, color television, automatic transmission, concrete mixers, the ATM, gas masks used by U.S. troops during WWII, waffle ice cream cones, hair dryers, and many other things.

Isn’t it time the U.S. helps an ally who has given us so much?

Many troops and civilians are dying on either side. As far as I know it is unknown which country started the attacks. But I would bet my life savings Azerbaijan started them. Armenia is much smaller — and only wants peace.

Armenia is the first Christian nation in the world. It adopted Christianity as the national religion in 301 AD. The county only wants peace. Having friends in that country who are like my family, I can sum up the people by saying many would give you the coat off their back if you asked.

We need to spread the word and stop Azerbaijan and Turkey’s aggression against Armenia. It is time to give back.

Dante Duvall



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