WASHINGTON — On September 2, 1991, the legislature of the Nagorno Karabagh autonomous region and adjacent Shahumyan district declared the formation of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR), Artsakh. The legitimate resolution 24 years ago reversed Joseph Stalin’s arbitrary 1921 decision to include the ancient Armenian province of Artsakh under then newly-created Soviet Azerbaijan.
“We join with all people of good will in celebrating Artsakh’s Independence Day,” stated Armenian Assembly of America board co-chairmen Anthony Barsamian and Van Krikorian. “We commend Karabagh’s commitment to democracy and its continued resolve since independence in the face of Azerbaijan’s established pattern of aggression against innocent civilians. As the Soviet Union was breaking up, the United States stood firmly for the rights of the oppressed Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh; this is a time for us to thank those officials who represent the best of America and expose those bought off by Azerbaijani petro-dollars to wipe out the brave citizens of the Nagorno Karabagh Republic,” Barsamian and Krikorian said.
Since gaining independence in 1991, NKR has defended its freedom on the battlefield, and has developed as a stable democracy with a viable civil society and developing market economy. Despite the ongoing threats of renewed aggression from Azerbaijan, Artsakh continues to adhere to the universal values of human rights and civil liberties. The republic’s citizens and authorities are resolved to continue developing as a sovereign democracy and a reliable member of the international community.
On the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the independence of NKR, U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Robert J. Dold (R-IL), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, wrote a letter congratulating President Bako Sahakyan and the people of Artsakh. The co-chairs noted that “the formation of the [Artsakh] republic in 1991 opened a path towards freedom and democracy, and your people continue to demonstrate their dedication to these universal values.” In the letter, Reps. Pallone and Dold also expressed support to Artsakh’s “efforts toward international recognition, and look forward to the day when it assumes its deserved place in the community of nations.”
NKR Representative to the U.S. Mr. Robert Avetisyan expressed his gratitude to Congressmen Pallone and Dold for their continued leadership on issues of importance to the Armenian American community, and for their continued support of Artsakh’s sovereignty and democratic aspirations.